sport

Naas plan for Moscow

Moscow Mannon pleased connections on Tuesday morning as he enjoyed his first piece of work since suffering a setback.

Fourth in last season's Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, Moscow Mannon made a successful debut over jumps at Navan in December and was on course for the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown last weekend.

However, trainer Brian Hamilton had to shelve that plan after the horse banged himself.

Hamilton will work the seven-year-old again on Saturday before deciding whether to run him at Naas on February 24 and the County Down handler believes it is 50-50 Moscow Mannon returns to the Cheltenham Festival next month.

He holds entries in the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the longer Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

"He worked today and he's working again on Saturday, then we'll reassess things and take it from there," said Hamilton.

"He worked well enough this morning. I've got a decent uphill gallop here. He missed two pieces of work last week which wasn't ideal.

"I'm hoping he'll run on Sunday week in the Grade Two hurdle at Naas. It leaves it a bit tight for Cheltenham, but we'll probably head there and see how he comes out of it.

"It's 50-50 for Cheltenham. If he did make it there it would probably be for the Supreme. It's 60-40 that race at the minute, but he has a big task in getting there first.

"He has to run respectably at Naas else there's no point sending him to Cheltenham. There's enough prize money to be won over here without having to go there."