No Flies On Him will head to Punchestown to continue his hurdling education next month after connections elected to miss the Dublin Racing Festival with the top novice prospect.
Trained by Edward O’Grady and owned by JP McManus, the five-year-old beat Nicky Henderson’s Grade One scorer Jango Baie in the pointing field before impressing on his rules debut at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.
He looked to be in line for a return to the Irish capital for the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle on Sunday, but his name was missing from the list of acceptors at Tuesday’s confirmation stage.
Instead O’Grady will point his talented charge towards Kildare next month, where he will step up to Listed level in the Madigan Group Irish EBF Sheila Bourke Novice Hurdle.
“The horse is absolutely fine and in excellent shape, but we have decided to wait for Punchestown on February 18,” said O’Grady.
“We were pleased with what he did (on debut). I don’t know (if he’s improved) but we will find out.”
No Flies On Him holds an entries for both the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle – for which he is as short as 12-1 – and the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
When asked if a positive display at Punchestown could tee up a trip to Prestbury Park in March, O’Grady said: “I hope so, yes.”