Cross-country star Easysland switched to Jonjo O’Neill’s yard

Connections are hopeful Easysland will be able to bid to regain his Glenfarclas Chase crown at Cheltenham after it was revealed the eight-year-old has recovered from injury and joined Jonjo O’Neill’s stable.

Easysland was trained in France by David Cottin when he defeated dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll by 17 lengths at the 2020 Festival. He has been beaten in both his runs since, including the cross-country event last year when Tiger Roll took his revenge.

However, Easysland suffered a setback while on his summer break at his owner JP McManus’ Martinstown Stud in County Limerick and has recently moved to O’Neill’s base at Jackdaws Castle.

“He hasn’t been in France since he ran last. He’s gone over to Jonjo’s from Martinstown. He’s got good facilities and hopefully, if he can keep him sound, he’ll get to the cross country,” said McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry.

“We’ll try to get a race into him before Cheltenham if it’s possible. He’s only been over at Jonjo’s a couple of weeks.

“He had plenty of issues, but he’s sound now and it’s a case of keeping him sound. Hopefully he’ll get there with a bit of luck.”

The McManus team are awaiting the arrival of another French import Prengarde, who has been bought out of Guillaume Macaire and Hector de Lageneste’s yard to join Enda Bolger in Co. Limerick.

The six-year-old has been quoted as low as 4-1 for the cross country at the Festival but as yet connections have not mapped out a programme.

“I can’t tell you much about him. He’ll be on his way from France and is going to Enda Bolger, but I can’t say what the plans are because we haven’t got him on board yet,” said Berry.

“We are waiting for him, and he’s only turned six, so we have no plans at the minute. We will see how he settles in and how everything goes.”

Prengarde has won his last five races over fences, all at Compiegne, culminating in a Listed contest on his latest start in November.

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