Morris rues Festival fortunes
Mouse Morris is pleased to report his Cheltenham Festival runners have arrived home in good shape after all three finished second.
The Fethard maestro is widely considered as one of the best trainers in the land when it comes to preparing his string for the Festival and each of this year's representatives did him proud without quite hitting the target.
Morris said: "They're all fine. It just didn't happen for them on the day, but hopefully they're all winners for further down the line."
Morris' first runner of the week was Baily Green, who ran way above the expectations of most when beating all bar hot favourite Simonsig in the Arkle Trophy.
"We were hopeful he'd run well and he just came right on the day on the ground," said the trainer.
"He could go to Fairyhouse and/or Punchestown, depending on how he is. It would be the Powers Gold Cup back over two and a half (miles) if he goes to Fairyhouse, but I don't think that would be a problem."
Morris talked about Rule The World in glowing terms prior to his run in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, insisting the six-year-old has the potential to be the best he has ever trained.
While he beat one of the supposed Irish bankers of the week in Pont Alexandre, he found the impressive The New One four lengths too strong.
Morris said: "If he goes anywhere before the end of the season he'll go to Punchestown and we'll stick to two and a half miles with him I'd say.
"He ran a good race, but he is still a bit immature and he's next year's horse really. We knew that beforehand.
"He was beaten by a better horse on the day, but hopefully he has a big future."
Morris' third and final runner of the week was First Lieutenant, who after much speculation took his chance in the two-mile-five-furlong Ryanair Chase instead of the three-and-a-quarter-mile Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The eight-year-old was unable to reel in the front-running Cue Card and Morris hopes to see his charge step back up in distance for the Punchestown Gold Cup next month.
He said: "He ran well and he's in great shape. As long as he's all right he'll go to Punchestown for the longer race."