Liz Doyle eyeing Plate target at the Festival for Last Goodbye

Fri 2 Mar 2018

Liz Doyle is favouring the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at Cheltenham for Last Goodbye.

The Millenary gelding ran out an impressive winner of the €100,000 Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival on his last outing and is now set for a return trip to Prestbury Park.

The seven-year-old met trouble in running in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the Festival last season before running on to finish fifth behind Tully East.

He has two entries this year, but connections are leaning toward the two-mile-five option on the Thursday of the Festival rather than the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase over three miles on the opening day.

"He got a rating of 149 and I was hoping he'd stick to his Irish mark but so be it, I suppose we won a big race last time," said Doyle.

"At the minute he'll go for the two-five as I don't think Cheltenham is a great place to be upping them in trip when you're not 100 per cent sure whether they stay or not.

"You are going there with lots of problems with the weights and the competitiveness, so you don't want to be guessing whether he'll stay the four extra furlongs in the Ultima.

"We have a bit of weight to carry and I wouldn't really want the weights to go up that much in the two-five, but he's very well. We may decide to stick with a claimer on board.

"He's only had two runs this year, he's fresh and hasn't been bottomed out.

"I'm hoping it was the blinkers that brought out the improvement in him last time and hopefully we can replicate that effort in Cheltenham.

"He got hampered a couple of times in the race at Cheltenham last year and still flew up the hill.

"He got hampered at a bad stage when a horse fell in front of him at the second-last.

"He'll cope with that track and the tough finish will suit him. He does hit flat spots and can be a bit lazy, so going very quick and coming late suits him.

"Hopefully he has a bit of gas left in the tank as I think that's very important going there. He hasn't had four or five hard runs in heavy ground during the season."

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