National Hunt Chase
Corbetts Cross prepares for Cheltenham with Derek opening up more options

Corbetts Cross prepares for Cheltenham with Derek opening up more options

There has been a big market move for Corbetts Cross in the National Hunt Chase over the last few days. He was as big as 7-1 with some firms on Sunday, but is now generally a 4-1 shot after Derek O’Connor was booked for the seven-year-old’s Fairyhouse outing. O’Connor, one of Ireland’s most decorated amateur riders, won the National Hunt Chase in JP McManus’s green and gold silks on Minella Rocco in 2016 and Corbetts Cross is the owner’s sole entry this year.

Mullins said that no final decision has been made about the five-time winner’s festival target as of yet, and reports him to be in good shape ahead of the €21,000 test. “He’s well and we’re hoping the meeting will be on,” he said. “Using Derek just opens up another door in terms of options.

We’ll see how they get on and go from there. We’re not committed to going one way or another at this stage.” There are only four runners in the Fairyhouse event, but it will be no cakewalk for Corbetts Cross as his three rivals are rated in the 140s.

Run Wild Fred has a mark of 147, Eklat De Rire is rated 146 and Velvet Elvis 142. He said: “Run Wild Fred was disappointing in the Paddy Power and he’ll need to get back to the sort of form he was in a few years ago. Hopefully this race will help him get his confidence back.”

Brendan Sheridan, clerk of the course at Fairyhouse, is hopeful that the track will be passed fit for racing if the forecast is correct. Sheridan said: “Following 3mm of rain overnight and a further 6mm of rain throughout today, there is a small part of the track which is unfit for racing due to surface water. “It stopped raining at lunchtime today and the current forecast is mainly dry between now and racing.

Temperatures are to possibly drop to -2C tonight, but if the forecast is correct I’d be hopeful the track will be fit for racing tomorrow.

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