Irish trainer Shark Hanlon is proving to be a master of patience. Last February, after Luska Lad won the Grade 2 Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park as a novice he was expected to bring the horse over to Cheltenham Festival. He resisted.
This season he has the exciting young novice chaser Hidden Cyclone in his care. The horse has already done plenty his connections can be proud of, as he is the winner of seven of his nine races to date. This season he has had just two runs, winning his first chase, a grade 2 event at Leopardstown, before finishing a disappointing third behind the Willie Mullins trained Sire Des Champs at the same track last month.
Hanlon thinks very highly of the horse, and it is an open secret that he wants to aim him at the 2013 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. But rather than pitching him in at the deep end in the Sun Alliance this year, Hanlon says Hidden Cyclone will have just a couple of low-key outings in the remainder of this season.
Of his last race the trainer said, "He was sick the last day he ran, but he's back now and I'm very happy with him. It took a lot out of him, so I'd say he won't run from maybe another two or three weeks and he'll probably go to Naas. He just got a bad dose and a lot of my horses got sick, but I think they are back now and he was one of the worst ones affected."