Gerdago may be a Winter special

  • Last Updated: February 24 2014, 17:47 GMT

Ken Condon is set to saddle his first runner at the Cheltenham Festival, with Gerdago a likely starter in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Gerdago (r): Set to run at Cheltenham
Gerdago (r): Set to run at Cheltenham

Condon, who is predominantly a Flat trainer, has always had a few for the jumps, and is now set to break new ground by having his first runner at the showpiece fixture.

Gerdago booked his ticket for the Cotswolds at the weekend, running a fine race in the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse, finishing just three lengths third to Abbyssial.

The son of Aussie Rules, who won his maiden hurdle in convincing style at Navan in November, is now a general 16/1 chance for the Fred Winter on March 12.

Condon said: "He has come out of the race on Saturday well, touch wood, and we were very pleased with him, he ran a nice race. We gave him a break during the winter as he had been busy during the summer as well.

"Before Saturday the English handicapper had him on 130, I don't know if that is going to be revised but off that mark he should definitely get a spot in the Fred Winter, and that is the plan.

"The owners are sporting and are willing to let him take his chance. I've never had a runner at the Festival, we've always watched it, and it is a fantastic meeting. We will just see how the English handicapper reacts to Saturday.

"He is a horse who shows a bit of consistency and the Irish handicapper has raised him 9lb for the run, so he is obviously a horse who is on the upgrade and improving a bit.

"He will need to improve further, but if he gets in off a reasonable and fair mark he should give a good account.

"The track over there should suit him, he is more a staying type of horse so the old course should suit."

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