Philip Rowley sets sights on Cheltenham Festival return for Barel Of Laughs

Mon 29 Jan 2018

Philip Rowley hopes Barel Of Laughs can continue to roll back the years at the Cheltenham Festival by putting in another bold show in the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase on March 16.

The 12-year-old, who finished second in a point-to-point at Barbury Castle on his last start, is being lined up for a second shot at the three-and-a-quarter-mile amateur contest after defying odds of 100-1 to finish third in last season's renewal.

Rowley said: "He is really well. Although he got beat at Barbury last time, you can't blame the horse.

"He was beaten by a horse called Saddlers Encore that used to be trained by Philip Hobbs and had won a Grade Three hurdle in the past and was carrying almost a stone less than weight on soft ground.

"Peter and Trish Andrews are fantastic owners and his aim is the Foxhunter at Cheltenham again.

"We have to go there after last season and hopefully I can get him there a bit better than last year."

Foxrock remains firmly on course for the same race.

The Barry Connell-owned 10-year-old made his debut for Alan Fleming in a hunter chase at Thurles earlier this month and finished second to Gilgamboa.

Fleming told At the Races: "Foxrock is great. He was a bit tired. It was hard old going (at Thurles), but there's not a bother on him.

"If the ground is soft it would be great to turn up there."

Despite having disappointed on two previous visits to Cheltenham, Foxrock is the 5-1 favourite with Paddy Power for the Foxhunter Chase on the final day of the Festival.

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