Lord Windermere in “great form” for Durkan
Trainer Jim Culloty reports his Gold Cup winning stable star to be in “great form” speaking on the weekend preview show on RacingFM ahead of the eight year old’s return to the racecourse at Punchestown in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase this Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to his first run. He’s in good old form, healthy and as fit as I can get him and hopeful of a good solid run over what is an inadequate trip, but it’s a good starting point for him.”
“The aim is to go for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas. Probably give him a run in the Henessy as well in mid February then on to to Cheltenham, but these things are just penciled in and we’ll take each race at a time.”
“I’m extremely happy with him, 100% and he’s had a very clear run and is as fit as I can get him for a first run which is fairly ready. He is down to his racing weight but there is nothing like a run. He’s in great form, he’s schooled well and everything has gone like clockwork.”
The trainer also hopes Legal Exit might step up on his next trip to the track as the 7 year old holds a couple of entries this weekend but may well wait a while having missed most of 2013 and only recently returned to the racecourse at Navan last month.
“He missed a season and when we started him back he was making a noise so he has had a wind op which hasn’t been as successful as I’d have hoped but he was working well and everything so we were happy to run him and he ran respectably after a long time off.”
“I thought he would be a Grade 1 performer over fences and maybe he won’t be now but his next run will tell us a lot more and we’ll know where to go with him. I had thought the world of him but unfortunately the vets inform me he won’t be as good as he was but he might still be good enough to win some races.”
“His home work is as good as ever but when the vets scope him he’s not getting 100% oxygen. I’ll run him again and see how he gets on and whereas before I would have been very confident now we will just play it by ear and see where we go.”
Also Spring Heeled will be campaigned with the Grand National at Aintree in mind following his success at Cheltenham in March and then two good runs since in the BET365 Gold Cup and more recently the Galway Plate.
“That’s been our aim with him since last year really, he’s not a winter horse and is very ground dependent, wants good ground and the faster the better really so hopefully it will be dry in April.”
Culloty, a National Winner himself as a jockey is confident his charge would be the right type for the race under the right conditions. “On good ground he is a superb jumper, I wouldn’t even risk running him on soft ground.”
Hear the interview and the rest of the Preview Podcast here.
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