Ship still in Festival reckoning

A trip to the Cheltenham Festival could still be on the agenda for Space Ship despite defeat at Musselburgh.

Having achieved a rating in the 90s on the Flat for John Gosden, trainer Robbie Hennessy went to 130,000 guineas to secure his services at Tattersalls last October.

He made a highly encouraging jumping debut when not beaten far by a couple of leading Triumph Hurdle contenders in Plinth and Ivan Grozny at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival and made his second hurdling start in Scotland on Sunday.

Having travelled well in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies, the four-year-old was eventually beaten into fourth by the talented Broughton, but Hennessy believes his charge is better than he showed that day.

"With the way the weather was, it took us 14 hours to get to Musselburgh because of ferry problems. It was a long old journey and under the circumstances I thought it was a good run," said the trainer.

"They stood still for 15 seconds when the tapes went up and a faster gallop would definitely have suited our horse, so all in all we were happy.

"The plan is to run him in a four-year-old maiden hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday week and we'll make a plan from there.

"He's in the Triumph, but the Fred Winter could be more likely if he goes to Cheltenham. We'll see how we go.

"He's a nice horse to have around the place and he's learning all the time."