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Michael Graham

Michael Graham

Winter Escape aims to continue his upward curve

Winter EscapeWinter Escape
© Photo Healy Racing

Aidan Howard believes Winter Escape fully deserves his crack at Grade One company at next month’s Dublin Racing Festival.

The eight-year-old gelding is three from four over fences for Howard since making the switch from Alan King’s stable.

He is the first horse Howard has trained for JP McManus and heads to Foxrock on a four-timer after winning his last couple of starts in Grade Three company at Cork and Punchestown.

He holds entries in the Grade One Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase over two miles and a furlong and in the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase over two-miles-five.

Howard, who also pre-trains for McManus, said: “He’s very good, and I’m very happy with him since Punchestown. He travelled very well in Punchestown and picked up well.

“What he goes for in Leopardstown depends on the ground — he definitely wants an ease and might not even go if it is dry.

“If he gets an ease he is more likely to go for the two-miles-five Grade One.

“He has a long way to go to get to the top. But he deserves his chance in this company and we hope he is a Grade One horse.”

Both of Winter Escape’s Grade Three victories came over two and a half miles.