| 12.3°C Dublin

Mannon's Festival bid depends on Deloitte run

MOSCOW MANNON will aim to book himself a return trip to the Cheltenham Festival in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday week.

The three-time bumper winner was an excellent fourth in last season's Champion Bumper at Prestbury Park, finishing ahead of a couple of this term's leading novice hurdlers in Jezki and The New One.

Moscow Mannon himself could have done no more than win impressively on his debut over obstacles at Navan in early December and having missed a subsequent engagement after suffering a setback, trainer Brian Hamilton seeks to find out whether his star turn is up to going back to Cheltenham in March.

Moscow Mannon has been entered in both the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Hamilton said: "I'd imagine if it was soft or heavy he'd run in the Supreme and if it was good ground he could go for the longer race, that's if he's good enough to go there, which we'll find out at Leopardstown."