sport

Morning may miss Moriarty run

Morning Assembly is set to sidestep the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase at Leopardstown and head straight for the RSA Chase.

Pat Fahy's Grade One-winning hurdler looked the part in winning his first two outings over fences and was far from disgraced when runner-up behind Galway Plate hero Carlingford Lough in the Topaz Novice Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival.

The seven-year-old holds an entry on Hennessy Gold Cup day, but Fahy is keen to ensure his charge lines up at Prestbury Park in the best possible shape.

Fahy said: "It has been a plan all the way through (the season) to aim for Cheltenham, everything has gone well so far and I think we'll stick to the plan.

"He's got his experience and it's just a case of sticking to the routine now. We'll keep him nice and fresh and he won't be doing anything major.

"Cheltenham isn't far away at all now. In another couple of weeks it will seem very close, so we'll just try and keep him sound and healthy.

"The RSA is his main target. We gave him an entry in the four-miler (National Hunt Chase), but that was just in case something cropped up."

Ruby Walsh has been in the saddle on each of Morning Assembly's three chase starts.

The jockey is likely to be partnering one of Willie Mullins' formidable team in the RSA Chase, but Fahy is not giving up hope.

"We'll hold out as much as we can for Ruby. You never know what might happen. We've managed to get him up to now and people didn't think we'd be able to," said the trainer.

"If we can't get Ruby then there's Davy Russell and Davy Condon coming back. I don't think we'll be short of options."