Aidan Howard in no hurry to map out Winter Escape plan

Winter Escape broke a blood vessel at Leopardstown

Aidan Howard will not rush into making a plan for Winter Escape after he burst a blood vessel in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The former Alan King inmate had made rapid progress over fences this season, winning three times including twice at Grade Three level.

Everything appeared to be going smoothly in the race until he received a bump at the second last, after which his challenge faltered.

“He’s very good, he came home and ate up and he’s in good form this morning – it was just one of those things,” said Howard.

“He got a bad bump turning for home and that could have caused it.

“I was very happy with how he was going, he was going as well as anything turning for home, it was just very unlucky.

“He’ll have an easy week and I’ll have to speak to Frank (Berry, racing manager) and JP (McManus, owner) and we’ll make a plan.

“It’s too early to rule Cheltenham out yet, we’ll know more in a couple of weeks. He has come out of it well, he’s very fresh.

“Another possible option could be the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.”