THE results of a blood test will decide whether Irish Cavalier, ante-post favourite for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham, takes his chance in Saturday’s big race.
Trainer Rebecca Curtis, whose last winner was Globalisation at Ffos Las on November 8, has not had a runner since November 27, when she posted on Twitter that “all of our horses are wrong at the moment” and that she would give them “an easy few weeks and get them sorted.”
Although appearing in good form, Irish Cavalier will only be declared on Thursday morning for the 2m4½f handicap chase providing recent blood tests return clear.
Curtis’s partner Gearoid Costelloe said on Wednesday: “We’ve done a check over on the horses today, trach washes and bloods, and we won’t know the results from the bloods until tomorrow. Whether Irish Cavalier and the other horses run over the next few days will depend on the results.”
Of Irish Cavalier, who was successful at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, and fifth in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, Costelloe added: “He’s in very good order. We worked them all this morning and we trach washed him straight afterwards and it came out spotless, so we’re very happy with that.”
A tracheal wash checks for the presence of mucus or blood in the windpipe which may appear after exertion.
Of the stable’s poor run of form, and subsequent shut-down, he said: “They were just overloading on hay and feed. The hay was very good hay and it was too powerful, it wasn’t helping their muscles.
“Our feed was powerful as well and the two together just didn’t help. We eased back and changed our hay to haylage, and we’ve been feeding them a little bit less.”