Ted Walsh opts against Naas class rise for Any Second Now

Tue 3 Jan 2017

Ted Walsh is in no rush to make plans for impressive Navan winner Any Second Now after ruling out a step up to Grade One company at Naas on Sunday.

The JP McManus-owned gelding was among the defectors from the Lawlor's Hotel Novice Hurdle, withWalsh feeling it would be a "bit much" to ask the five-year-old to tackle top-level opposition on just his second outing.

Any Second Now sprang a 66-1 shock on his debut last month when winning a hotly-contested maiden hurdle in some style.

"I've no immediate plans for him," said Walsh.

"He's only had the one run so we'll try and pick a nice stepping-stone somewhere for him.

"We'll look for something in the next couple of weeks.

"There isn't a lot for a horse like him. There is actually no winners-of-one races this side of Cheltenham.

"He'll have to run in either a Listed or Graded novice race."

Though Any Second Now misses out at the weekend, nine runners have stood their ground for the two-and-a-half-mile feature.

Willie Mullins has won the last three renewals with Bellshill, Mckinley and Briar Hill, and has three in contention this time.

Augusta Kate was a winner on her hurdling bow at Thurles in November and could make the leap to Grade One level, with stablemates Asthuria and Turcagua also in the mix.

Gordon Elliott could also be triple-handed, with the exciting Death Duty, unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, seemingly his main hope.Elliott could also runBlood Crazed Tiger and Runfordave.

Noel Meade's Bel Ami De Sivola, the Mouse Morris-trained Vinalhaven and Enda Bolger's Stand Up And Fight complete the list of contenders.

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