Straford target for Mossey Joe

Enda Bolger hopes he can nurse Mossey Joe back to full health in time to defend his crown at Stratford following his disappointing run at Cork.

Leading owner Barry Connell paid 160,000 for the 11-year-old at Cheltenham's Brightwells Sale in January and he made a winning start for Bolger in a Dromahane point-to-point in mid-March.

He was not disgraced in finishing third in the Fox Hunters' Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree and looked to have a good opportunity to get back on the winning trail over the Bank Holiday period, but came home a well-beaten third.

Mossey Joe was found to be suffering from a respiratory tract infection post-race and Bolger now faces a race against time to get his charge ready for the Champion Hunters' Chase at Statford on May 30.

Bolger said: "He scoped badly after the race the other day, so there was an excuse, but we are just struggling to get him right.

"He's on antibiotics at the moment and I hope now we're getting a bit better weather he might come to hand.

"He was absolutely bouncing after Aintree and he won the race in Cork last year. I thought we'd go down the same route again, but it wasn't to be.

"We're still hoping he will make Stratford and we have to try and get him back to his best between now and then."