Moore eyeing Fontwell for Peking Opera debut

It could be a big weekend for Gary Moore’s juveniles as Irish Derby fourth Peking Opera is pencilled in to begin life over obstacles at Fontwell on Sunday.

The son of Galileo was a Listed winner for Aidan O’Brien on the Flat before going on to finish just over nine lengths adrift of Auguste Rodin at the Curragh in the summer.

He also saw Group One action in the Grand Prix de Paris before finishing his spell at Ballydoyle with a third behind Vauban in the Ballyroan Stakes.

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The four-year-old is now set to try his hand at a new discipline and, having been picked up for 100,000 guineas at the sales, has joined Gary Moore to run in Steve Packham’s colours, made famous by Goshen.

He can be backed at a best price of 20-1 for the Triumph Hurdle, but before thoughts of the Cheltenham Festival enter the picture, he will have to pass his first assignment, having been handed an entry for the Join The Vickers.Bet Free Bet Club Novices’ Hurdle.

“If everything is all right, we might run on Sunday at Fontwell,” said Moore.

“We’re running tight on time and I need to get a run into him.”

Salver in winning action at Chepstow
Salver in winning action at Chepstow (David Davies/PA)

Although Peking Opera has yet to jump a hurdle in public, stablemate Salver has already put down a marker when romping to a wide-margin victory in Chepstow’s Finale Juvenile Hurdle over Christmas.

A best price of 14-1 for the Triumph, he is unbeaten in three over obstacles and holds an entry for the Grade Two JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday although ground conditions at Prestbury Park are set to determine his participation.

“The horse is very well and he has an entry just in case the ground came up soft,” said Moore.

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“He’s probably not going to get his ground and if it did come up soft, he would go there, but if it isn’t then he won’t go.

“It’s a stiff two-mile-one and I thought I would just make the entry, but he would be 50-50 – it would have to be good to soft or softer at least. I wouldn’t even want too much good in it, I want it proper soft ground.

“I’m very mindful of the fact he has improved with every time he has run and it will also depend on how he works in the morning more than anything.”

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