Noel Meade hoping Disko can find rhythm on for Down Royal return

Fri 3 Nov 2017

Noel Meade is excited to see what his flying grey Disko can do on his return to action in the Chase at Down Royal on Saturday.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old struck twice at Grade One level as a novice over fences last season at Leopardstown and Punchestown, with a third-placed finish in the JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham sandwiched in between.

He was under consideration for the Champion Chase on the same card, but with stablemate Road To Respect lining up in the Grade One feature, Meade elected to split his aces and Disko instead contests this two-and-a-half-mile Grade Two.

Meade said: "Theresa Maguire, Jason's sister, rides Disko all the time and she loves him more than she loves anyone I think. She thinks he's in great shape. If the other horse wasn't there he certainly would be running in the big race on Saturday.

"Because the two horses are second-season novices they can run in the other race and that's why we've split them up."

He added: "Disko has won two Grade Ones, but he still needs to jump from being a novice to where we are going this season, up against Sizing John and the likes. It's a big step and we just hope he's up to it.

"He's ready to run and hopefully he runs well."

Sean Flanagan is two from two aboard Disko and is delighted to be reunited this weekend. "Disko is a really good horse. He won two Grade Ones last year and has come back in stronger and better again," said the jockey.

"He's a massive big horse and he travels really well. He has a big stride on him and jumps great. He is still a relatively lightly-raced horse as he only had five runs before going chasing."

Disko is one of five Gigginstown representatives in a field of eight runners, along with the Gordon Elliott-trained pair of A Toi Phil and Ball D'Arc, Henry de Bromhead's Galway Plate winner Balko Des Flos and the Mouse Morris-trained Tout Est Permis.

Tony Martin's Anibale Fly and Ballyoisin from Enda Bolger's yard both carry the colours of JP McManus.

The owner's retained rider, Barry Geraghty, has sided with Ballyoisin, who was last seen landing a valuable handicap chase at Cork.

Bolger said: "It's a hot race. All the big guns are out. Our horse is in good form and we're hoping for a good run. We'll know a lot more about where we're going after the race, anyway.

"With his rating (158) we were limited as to where we could go with him. This race came up and we've decided to have a go. Our hands were kind of tied, so we'll see how we get on."

Jessica Harrington's outsider Neverushacon completes the line-up.

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