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Alan Magee

Alan Magee

McConnell dreaming of Festival glory

Sun 10th Nov 2019, 10:06

Construct (Donie McInerney) winning at Sligo
© Photo Healy Racing

John McConnell is hopeful he could have a few Cheltenham Festival contenders on his hands come next spring.

The Stamullen trainer has enjoyed increased success in recent seasons with well over 20 Irish winners both in 2018 and again this year as well as further victories in raids to Britain.

Go Another One has been one of his real stable stars winning nine times and has taken well to fences this term making a successful start to his chasing career at Clonmel over the summer and also scoring in runaway fashion at Worcester.

McConnell is looking forward to next spring with the Stowaway gelding who has a definite preference for decent ground.

“Go Another One is getting his winter break now. He ran well in Cheltenham considering he hated the ground and giving 8lb to Slate House I thought was a good run to finish third.

“He’ll improve a lot for better ground in the spring and it was nice to get a school around Cheltenham. Hopefully we’ll be heading back there for the Festival, although I’m not sure for what race at the moment.

“He’d have a lot of options there in the chases. He’d want some good in the ground,” said McConnell.

Construct, rated in the 80’s on the Flat after winning at Roscommon earlier this year, is another that has connections excited after landing both hurdle starts this summer at Downpatrick and Sligo.

The dual-purpose trainer said, “We didn’t run Construct at Cheltenham recently because of the heavy ground. He’s still cantering away at the minute but he’ll probably have a break. I wouldn’t mind a bit of ease in the ground like good to soft.

“He’ll probably be trained with Cheltenham in mind but if the ground isn’t right then he’ll go to one of the other Festivals. He’s a nice horse.”