Simply Ned to stick to familiar path this season

Simply Ned after his Leopardstown win
Simply Ned after his Leopardstown win

Simply Ned is set to go down a tried and tested route this winter following an encouraging reappearance at Kelso.

Nicky Richards' stable stalwart is now set to head for the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham later this month before returning to Ireland to run in the Grade One two-mile one-furlong chase at Leopardstown over Christmas for the sixth successive year.

The 12-year-old has finished in the first four in both races every season and has won the Leopardstown race for the last two campaigns.

"He's in grand nick. He 'll be ready to go down to Cheltenham, all being well," said the Greystoke handler. "We're just getting him primed up now. He'll go for the Shloer. It's sort of set in stone for him. Then it will be Leopardstown over Christmas. No doubt Willie (Mullins) will have a big gun ready to take him on."

Richards was delighted with Simply Ned's recent effort to finish fourth at Kelso - his first outing since he narrowly beat the Mullins-trained Footpad in Ireland last December.

"He travelled like a dream all the way and he was jumping like a gazelle. He just blew up from the second-last," he said. "It was as simple as that. He's a big horse and he's getting on a bit so it's harder to get him fit now, but he'll be ready."


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