Bardenstown Lad set to return to Cheltenham

John McConnell’s Cheltenham winner Bardenstown Lad already has a return to Prestbury Park on his agenda.

The six-year-old beat Dragon Bones by a length in Friday’s 888Sport What’s Your Thinking Novices’ Hurdle.

Bardenstown Lad has therefore won four of his six rules starts, and has never been unplaced since taking a bumper at Tipperary by 15 lengths in March.

He posted a British success, on his only previous trip from McConnell’s County Meath base, when a runaway winner of a Cartmel novice hurdle at the end of August.

After he had stayed on gamely to win again at Cheltenham, McConnell said: “We knew the hill would suit him.

“He’s kind of a lazy boy, and it’s a bit hard to know what’s left in him – so it helped him, I suppose, and gave him something to look forward to.

“He’s only ever doing enough.”

Cheltenham’s November meeting may see Bardenstown Lad’s next appearance, as he is prepared for his principal target this season – the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival.

But a winter break is also a possibility, because he has been in work ever since joining McConnell.

“He might have a break next – he hasn’t really had a break since we got him,” he said.

“He hasn’t had that many races, but he’s been in training. He might get a break and come back in the spring – and if he doesn’t he could reappear at the November meeting.

“We’ll see how he comes out of the race first, and take it from there.

“The Albert Bartlett is what we’re looking at, absolutely.”

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