King not concerned by Ryanair tactics

2017-03-02 15:17:00, Views: 22, Warren Ashurst

King not concerned by Ryanair tactics

Alan King insists he is not worried about race tactics at this stage, as he prepares Uxizandre for this month's Ryanair Chase.

The nine-year-old won the Grade One contest in 2015, with AP McCoy on board, by five lengths and beating the likes of Don Cossack and Taquin Du Seuil.

Uxizandre then struggled with injury issues and didn't return to action for another 688 days, before a return to Prestbury Park in January this year.

The gelding finished second, behind Un De Sceaux, in a Grade 1 Clarence House Chase and looked in good shape. Barry Geraghty was on board that day though, with the 37-year-old missing the Festival due to injury.

Those eyeing the bet365 bookmakers offer will note that trainer King says Uxizandre is in good heart ahead of Cheltenham and with better ground expected for the Festival, he feels it's '90 per cent certain' he will go for the Ryanair Chase again.

Speaking about the JP McManus-owned charge, King revealed: "We were thrilled with his comeback run, he exceeded my expectations having not run for the best part of two years.

"I was delighted with the way he stayed on up the hill. The ground was softer than he wants and he was against some top-class, race-fit horses."

When asked in the press day about the potential tactics of the race, King played down that side of the race and feels Uxizandre can run a big race no matter how the contest unfolds.

He added: "I'm not too worried about the tactics at this stage. He didn't make the running at Cheltenham the other week but if he got an uncontested lead then great.

"If something else wants to go and blaze a trail then fine. I’ll worry about that a little nearer the time."