Royal return for Mannon
Exciting bumper horse Moscow Mannon is likely to start off his career over hurdles at Down Royal in early November.
Having won three of his first four starts in National Hunt Flat events, the six-year-old lined up in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival as a leading contender.
He ran a superb race to finish fourth, beaten five and a half lengths, and trainer Brian Hamilton is excited about seeing his stable star go jumping this season.
"All is going according to plan at the moment and we're aiming towards a maiden hurdle at the Down Royal Festival, which is on November 2 and 3," said Hamilton.
"He did his first piece of work on Saturday, which went very well, and this is an exciting time of year.
"We could be a bit deflated come January time, but you've got to keep positive and I'm delighted with how the horse has done over the summer.
"He was a strong horse before, but he's a bull of a horse now and I think he's improved immensely.
"I'm glad I didn't keep going with him after Cheltenham, I think that's done him a lot of good, and hopefully he can carry on doing well when he starts over hurdles.
"The Down Royal race is two miles, so we'll see how he gets on there, but I think he's a horse who'll want a trip in time.
"If all went well in Down Royal, then something like the Royal Bond in Fairyhouse would be a target, but that's if things fall into place as we hope, which more often than not they don't."
Former amateur Declan Lavery has been ever-present in the saddle during Moscow Mannon's short career to date and having turned professional, is likely to retain the mount over obstacles.
"As far as I know Declan will keep the ride on him. He's turned pro now and the owner is keen to keep the partnership intact and that's fine by me," said Hamilton.
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