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Warner favouring Ryanair Chase tilt with Eldorado Allen

Terry Warner remains keen on the Ryanair Chase for Eldorado Allen despite his victory in the Denman Chase prompting talk of supplementing for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Warner, who co-owns the eight-year-old with John Romans, was delighted with victory over the near three-mile trip at Newbury on Saturday but feels the three and a quarter miles of the Gold Cup would be too far.

The furthest the grey, trained by Colin Tizzard, had run over in the past was an extended two and a half miles, but he stayed the extra three furlongs well when making most of the running to beat Royal Pagaille by two and a quarter lengths.

“We thought he would stay the trip and it was on a flat track as well, that makes a difference. He’ll be right for the two-mile-five at Cheltenham. The Ryanair, I would think, is the one,” said Warner.

Co-owner Terry Warner would prefer to run Eldorado Allen in the Ryanair Chase rather than the Gold Cup
Co-owner Terry Warner would prefer to run Eldorado Allen in the Ryanair Chase rather than the Gold Cup (Barry Batchelor/PA)

“I own half of him and sold half to John (Romans) years ago. He’s talked of the Gold Cup but I think the trip is beyond him. It’s a stiff track and a unique place.

“If he runs in the Ryanair, it will be perfect for him.”

However, Tizzard has not ruled the Gold Cup out and expects the final decision to be made closer to the time.

“I wondered if he’d stay and he just about got there on a flat track like Newbury. He’s got a bit about him and he might be even better stepping up again,” the Dorset trainer told Sky Sports Racing.

“I don’t think the money will stop these boys. If it was the right decision, they will do it if they thought they had half a chance.

“At the moment, you’d say he’s not a typical Gold Cup horse but we haven’t to decide until that week. If we remain in really good form, why wouldn’t we roll the dice?

“We’ve got a couple of others and if they came out and won, perhaps we’ll leave this fella in the Ryanair. All these decisions will have to be made in a few weeks’ time.”

Warner feels his best chance of success at Cheltenham is with Elixir Du Nutz in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase.

The eight-year-old, also housed at the Tizzard stable, warmed up for the Festival with an easy victory at Kempton on Friday.

“He’ll run in the Grand Annual. I think it’s the next race for him. He’s a nice horse and he jumps well. He has won at Cheltenham in the past over hurdles,” said Warner.

“He’d been out for over a year, now he’s come back, he loves jumping and won really well on Friday.

“I’d say he’s our best chance at Cheltenham.”

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