©Healy Racing Photos
Ellmarie Holden is excited to see what the future holds for Ex Patriot following his fantastic effort in defeat in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last Friday.
Although the four-year-old unseated Rachael Blackmore and briefly got loose before the start, he was as good as gold during the race itself and loomed up ominously rounding the home turn.
He was eventually beaten seven lengths into fourth place by top-class juvenile Defi Du Seuil and Holden is unsure whether her star youngster will run again this season.
"He came out of the race well and came home perfect, there's not a bother on him," said the County Kilkenny-based trainer.
"It didn't get off to a great start, but he ran an absolute cracker and I think he'll be better again next season.
"Whether we go to Punchestown or not, we'll have to wait and see. I'll leave him off for a few days and then see how he is."
Ex Patriot could have been carrying different colours on Gold Cup day, having been offered for sale in the parade ring the previous evening.
However, he failed to reach his reserve price, much to his trainer's relief.
"He didn't make what we were after, which is good news for me as it meant we got to bring him home. I'm glad we put a reserve on him," Holden added.
" We'll probably go chasing next season, that's the plan at the moment, but we'll just take it week by week."