Doyle's two stable stars prepare for big challenge
Crossabeg trainer Liz Doyle hopes to put the heartache of the recent loss of Le Vent D'Antan behind her as another two of her stable stars prepare to lay down a challenge at Cheltenham this week.
Golan Lodge, who celebrated a winning racecourse debut at Fairyhouse a few weeks ago, has recovered well after his exertions at the County Meath circuit, yet it is 50/50 whether he will compete at this stage in the Champion Bumper. With his owner undecided, Doyle will wait a little while longer before declaring his participation in a race that she knows plenty about.
Both 2011 Champion Bumper winner Cheltenian, and Al Ferof, who was an eight-length second to Cue Card in 2010, were sold on by Doyle, while Le Vent D'Antan finished seventh in the race in 2013.
'I think Golan Lodge is the right sort of horse for the race in that he's a tough, hardy horse who does well and he's a bit of age under him being a six-year-old.
'I was delighted with the way he handled the soft to heavy in Fairyhouse and showed plenty of gears, but I think he'll definitely love better ground. It remains to be seen if he lines up or not.'
Another Doyle inmate that has travelled to Cheltenham is Kauto Grand Mogol, a half-brother to the legendary Kauto Star, and he has entries in both the preferred Coral Cup and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.
The seven-year-old won two of his first three starts over hurdles and has had a wind operation since his outing at Clonmel early last month.
'The Coral (Cup) is the race I've got at the back of my mind,' said Doyle.
'The wind operation has definitely helped him and I think this might just be the year to take him as he isn't overly exposed. I think he might have more in hand than he might this time next year.'