Iroko on course for Cheltenham

Iroko has been given a Cheltenham Festival target, but connections will leave the decision regarding which race until closer to the event.

JP McManus
JP McManus Picture: Pat Healy Photography

The gelding had been initially ruled out of the remainder of the season following an impressive chasing debut at Warwick in early November, but he has recovered faster than anticipated. Trained by Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero, Iroko has proven form at Cheltenham, having won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at the Festival last season.

The six-year-old holds entries for the Arkle and Turners Novices' Chases next month, but would have to face the fellow JP McManus-owned Fact To File if running in the latter.

"I think he'll get to Cheltenham," said Greenall.

"He won't be able to have a run before, there's not enough time, but he'll get to Cheltenham.

"Which race he'll run in there, I'm still not sure. I'd rather go over two and a half miles but JP has obviously got other options in that, so we'll just have to see.

"The Arkle may have opened up after last weekend but obviously he ran so well in the three-mile Grade One novice hurdle at Aintree.

"It's great that he's back anyway, and he's back in full training."

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