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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Hamilton plots Moscow routeHeadlines
Racing action

Brian Hamilton is looking forward to the rest of the season with Moscow Mannon following an encouraging return to action at Naas last weekend.

A three-time bumper winner last season and a creditable fourth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, the seven-year-old made an impressive start to his jumping career when scoring decisively at Navan in early December.

Various training problems led to Hamilton's stable star missing the Christmas period and the whole of January, but there was a lot to like about the way he travelled in a Grade Two event at Naas last Sunday, before he eventually tired into fourth place.

Moscow Mannon does hold entries in both the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but he is set to stay at home as Hamilton plots his route back to full fitness.

"He travelled well during the race and just got very tired, which we expected as he hadn't had an ideal preparation," said the Downpatrick-based handler.

"He stayed on all the way to the line, had a very good blow after the race and I think he should improve a lot for the run. I'd say we'll bypass Cheltenham now as it's no good going there 95% as he'd end up having a very hard race against the best of the best.

"He could go back to Naas on Sunday week for another race over two miles, which isn't ideal as I think he really wants a bit further, but it's a race that fits in well and it should bring him on again and give him some more experience.

"All going well there, we'd look to step him up to two and a half miles at Fairyhouse after that. He didn't turn a hair after his race the other day so hopefully he'll have a good end to the season and pick up a bit of prize-money."

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