GBI RACING

Irish Arkle or Kingmaker for Knocknanuss

Knocknanuss (left) on his way to winning at Newbury

Gary Moore is considering a tilt at the Irish Arkle with Knocknanuss following his fine effort in defeat at Plumpton.

After falling on his debut over fences at the East Sussex track in October, the nine-year-old made a huge impression in registering successive wins at Fakenham and Newbury.

After making much of the running on his return to Plumpton on Sunday, Knocknanuss was eventually reeled in by Guillaume Macaire’s French challenger and Grade One-winning hurdler Master Dino – who headed ante-post lists for the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival until it emerged he had picked up an injury in his victory.

Moore is eyeing a drop in trip for his charge, with the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown on February 2 and the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick the following week both under consideration.

“I was delighted with him, to be honest,” said Moore.

“He wasn’t good enough for the winner on the day, and I have to admit I got it wrong with the French horse – I didn’t realise how good he was.

“I think if it was two miles we would have given him a race – it would have been a punch-up.

“We’ll give our horse an entry in the Kingmaker at Warwick, and he’ll also get an entry in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown. If the ground stayed good he could go to Ireland.

“He’ll run in one or the other, all being well.”

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