Lavelle maps out long-term Sandown target for Prophecy

Spring campaign in the offing for Taunton winner.

Trainer : Emma Lavelle
Trainer : Emma Lavelle Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Emma Lavelle plans to work back from an outing in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown with Irish Prophecy .

After deciding to draw stumps for the winter with the seven-year-old, Lavelle believes the prestigious handicap on the final day of the season could be a suitable long-term target.

Irish Prophecy added to his first victory over fences at Newton Abbot in July with a decisive success at Taunton on his most recent start, having previously found only Badger Beers Silver Trophy winner El Presente too strong at Exeter.

She said: "He has been brilliant recently, but he is off on holiday at the moment as he wants decent ground.

"We will look at some of the nice staying races in the spring with him.

"I would think we will end up looking towards going to the bet365 Gold Cup. "

The Marlborough handler believes the recent addition of cheekpieces has helped Irish Prophecy begin to fulfil his potential over fences.

She added: "He is a great jumper now, as he used to be slow over them.

"The cheekpieces have made the world of difference to the horse as they have allowed him to travel.

"At Taunton he was quick, accurate and slick."

With Irish Prophecy racing in the silks of long-standing owner Nick Mustoe, it has given Lavelle further reason to be pleased about his recent progress.

Lavelle said: "Nick Mustoe is the nicest, most loyal person ever planted on this earth.

"To see him having a horse like this and be involved with Shang Tang, who won at Ascot on Saturday, is great as he has been through thick and thin.

"You just want people like him to have all the luck in the world."

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