Irving set to tackle Dovecote

  • Last Updated: February 18 2014, 15:38 GMT

Irving is set to complete his Cheltenham Festival preparations in Saturday's Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton.

Irving: Could take his chance in the Dovecote
Irving: Could take his chance in the Dovecote

The Paul Nicholls-trained youngster had been pencilled in for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury but connections opted to bypass the valuable handicap due to the testing conditions.

A run in a jumpers bumper had been mooted but Paul Nicholls told At The Races that his unbeaten six-year-old is likely to take up his entry in this weekend's Grade Two contest.

"I suspect I will run Irving. With him he's been ready to run for a while," he commented.

"He does either want a racecourse gallop or a run and actually, Saturday's race, where there are one or two on form to beat, isn't like running in the Betfair Hurdle where there are 20 to beat and he would have had a hard race, so we might well run him if it's okay."

The master of Ditcheat has a typically strong team for the weekend including some of the leading fancies in the valuable BetBright Chase at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue.

"We've got plenty to run this weekend. We might run three in the big chase - Grandioso, Bury Parade and Jump City, a nice juvenile called Alcala in the Adonis, and we've got Saphir Du Rheu at Fontwell.

"If the ground is heavy, he loves that. He's really well suited by conditions so it might just be a case of running him and calling it a day for the season," he added.

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