Ontheropes is on target for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on November 27.
Trained by Willie Mullins and owned by Cheveley Park Stud, the lightly-raced seven-year-old landed his first win over fences last time out in the Munster National.
He had previously finished second behind sidelined stablemate Monkfish on his only outing last season and will be aiming to improve the record of Irish-trained horses in the race.
Mullins’ win with Total Recall in 2017, who also won the Munster National prior to running at Newbury, was Ireland’s first since Bright Highway in 1980, although his Be My Royal was first past the post in 2002 before subsequently being disqualified after failing a drugs test due to contaminated feed.
Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park Stud’s managing director, said: “All being well, the Ladbrokes Trophy is the plan for Ontheropes. Everything that Willie has said to me is that this is his target.
“I’m told he is in good form and the Ladbrokes Trophy is the opportunity that we are looking at and it would be nice to have him running over here.
“He has a profile that matches quite nicely to the Ladbrokes Trophy and he has had a good summer.”
Until recently Cheveley Park’s red, white and blue silks were famous for their Flat exploits but their investment in the winter game has been rewarded with stars such as Envoi Allen, Ferny Hollow, A Plus Tard and Sir Gerhard all delivering on the big stage.
“It’s been a very special year. To be leading owner at Cheltenham was just an extraordinary thing. It was a great tribute to the late David Thompson,” said Richardson.
“Now we are looking forward to another season and the jumping chapter is beginning to get going. It will be as competitive as ever.
“Willie has one or two others in the Ladbrokes Trophy, but certainly on his last performance, Ontheropes deserves to be right up there.”
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