Lalor To Head Straight To Cheltenham For Arkle Bid

Kayley Woollacott has no concerns over her stable star Lalor going straight to the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival after only having two starts over fences prior the meeting.

The general 5/1 shot to land the spoils in the Grade 1 contest on the Tuesday of the four day meeting, was supposed to Napoleons Casino & Restaurant Owlerton Sheffield Lightning Novices' Chase at Doncaster on Saturday but with conditions not ideally suiting the Novice Chaser the Woollacott camp decided against it.

Lalor is so high in the market for the Racing Post sponsored Grade 1 contest off the back of his first run over fences at Cheltenham where he bolted up in a Grade 2 beating some good horses.

The David Staddon owned runner was less impressive on his second start over fences finishing a well beaten third at Sandown in the Grade 1 he Henry VIII Novices' Chase, but he can be excused due to the ground conditions not being his bag.

(Credit Racing Post) Woollacott said: "There are no concerns about going straight to the Arkle as all of his best runs have come off the back of a long break before, so we won't have concerns going straight there.

"You've got to do what's best for him and he's shown he can do the business after a break. I'd be concerned trying to get a run in beforehand, trying to go to Warwick for the Kingmaker, and then getting him to Cheltenham in the right shape. He'll probably have a racecourse gallop though."

The trainer did go round the Doncaster course before pulling him out on Saturday and added on Saturday morning: "It was just the ground there. I looked at it on Wednesday after the sales. They've been watering, but I just felt it was a bit chancey to run.

"He's in great order and he'd want, good, good to soft at Cheltenham, but there's a difference between that and watered ground. I'd have kicked myself if something had gone wrong and we can't afford to take those chances."

The female trainer has always backed her son of German and even after his loss last time out still thinks he has every chance in hat would be such a remarkable story for the small yard.

She continued: "It was very soft at Sandown and he still ran creditably. If he'd have won a little novice chase at Uttoxeter and was then third in a Grade 1 we'd all be looking at it differently, but he was so good at Cheltenham in November and that's how we hope to get him back there in March."

(Credit Racing Post For Quotes)