Tony’s got very high hopes for Festival success

By Damian Dolan.

2013 was a big year for Tony Martin, in more ways than one. No stranger to the winner’s enclosure at Cheltenham, Benefficient and Ted Veale did the business for the Meath based trainer at last year’s Festival, although that double success was sadly tempered by an injury to the highly rated Bog Warrior.

Having set a blistering pace in the World Hurdle, Bog Warrior faded before picking up an injury when finishing fifth. Solwhit, with Paul Carberry in the saddle, went on to claim victory. Bog Warrior has only run once since then, last month at Gowran when he unseated jockey Bryan Cooper at the second last in the Red Mills Steeplechase.

Entered for the Gold Cup at the Festival, it remains to be seen whether he’ll make it to the starting line, but what a sensational story it would be if 12 months on, he returned to claim victory.

“It was good to get two winners, but Bog Warrior was a fair old kick in the teeth,” said Martin of his stable star. “A real champion, he could have been anything.

“He’s entered but it’s too early to say. He’s over his fall, he was late getting back and we’ve just let him come himself without rushing him. We ran him the other day and unfortunately he just wasn’t straight up. Hopefully he’s improving.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World



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