Friday 18 January 2019

Star aimed at Arkle

Alan Fleming has confirmed Starluck will make his debut over fences within the next fortnight with a view to a tilt at the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham.

The grey has been running consistently well at the highest level over the smaller obstacles for the past couple of seasons and was last seen placing third behind Binocular in the Christmas Hurdle.

Despite having not yet seen a fence in public so late in the season, Fleming is keen to go down the chasing route to see how his stable star fares.

"He's going to run over fences either next week or the week after and then, if all went well, he could run in the Arkle," said Fleming.

"He might run at Huntingdon next Thursday, or there is a race for him at Taunton a week or two later.

"He's been schooling away over fences and he's good at it.

"We always wanted to broaden our options with him and after Cheltenham we have Aintree and Punchestown to look at as well.

"We'll just have to see what happens on his next run. If he does it well, then why not go to Cheltenham?"

Fleming is on the lookout for a new jockey for his six-year-old, however, with regular partner Timmy Murphy in line to ride leading hope Ghizao in the Arkle.

"We haven't made any other riding arrangements yet. It's important whoever rides him in his first chase would ride him in the Arkle," the trainer said.

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