Aye Right team face Festival deliberation

Aye Right could be headed for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup after his creditable run in the Cotswold Chase there on Saturday.

Harriet Graham was delighted with Aye Right’s effort in finishing third to Chantry House and is still looking at the Gold Cup, although the Jedburgh handler will give him an alternative entry at the Festival in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

“He ran a cracking a race. The Gold Cup is definitely on the horizon but he’ll also be entered in the Ultima, so we’re just keeping our options open,” she said.

“Obviously, the Gold Cup is fairly ambitious whereas the Ultima is maybe more within his abilities, but he’ll probably be carrying top weight and he’s not the biggest horse in the world. We might just have a pop at the Gold Cup.

“We’re not going for the National. It’s the owners’ decision and you’ve got to respect that. There is a possibility for next year and maybe we’ll run him over the National fences before we make a decision.”

Graham switched to a joint licence with former jockey Gary Rutherford on Tuesday and is looking forward to seizing new opportunities as part of a team.

“Gary can take some of the responsibility now! Hopefully we’ll be able to get a few more horses and maybe run one or two on the Flat as well, which is totally new to me but one has to think of a year-round business rather than predominately winter-spring,” said Graham.

“We’re in easy reach of Newcastle, Musselburgh and Carlisle. There are lot of Flat tracks close to us, so we thought we’d give that a go.

“I think it’s the way forward. How does someone set themselves up these days without a big backer behind them?”

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