Ship on course for Punchestown

Robbie Hennessy is targeting the Punchestown Festival for Space Ship following the disappointment of missing out on a run at Cheltenham.

Snapped up for 130,000 guineas after showing a good level of form on the Flat for John Gosden, the four-year-old ran with real promise in defeat on his first three jumping starts to leave Hennessy targeting a run in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle.

However, with a mark of 123, Space Ship did not make the cut for the fiercely-competitive Festival handicap and has instead been given a short break with a view to being prepared for a trip to Ireland's biggest National Hunt meeting next month.

Hennessy said: "The plan is for him to run in Punchestown and he'll probably get a couple of entries, including the Grade One juvenile race.

"Once it became obvious he wasn't going to get in the Fred Winter, we eased off him and freshened him up.

"He's back in full work now and we're very happy with him, so we'll look forward to Punchestown and the better the ground, the better he'll be.

"It was disappointing to miss the Fred Winter, but on the other hand I was pleased with the mark the handicapper gave him.

"We'll see what happens at Punchestown. If he doesn't win there, we'll have a nice novice for next season."