RACING: International choice for Oats

Click to follow
The Independent Online
A post-Christmas visit to Ireland or Wales now looks likely for the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Master Oats, although Kim Bailey will defer his decision until receiving the results of tests taken after the nine-year-old's comeback flop.

Bailey has pencilled in the Welsh National on Wednesday week - which Master Oats won last year - or the Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown a day later for the horse, who was pulled up when odds-on for his seasonal reappearance.

"We can't make definite plans until we have the results of the tests, but the horse is in great nick," Bailey said.

"All the tests we took here have shown him to be perfectly all right," he added. "They have shown nothing negative, but we'll have to see what happens with the tests which have been taken away for analysis."

Master Oats is 6-1 third favourite behind One Man with William Hill to retain his Gold Cup crown, a feat which has not been achieved since Raymond Guest's L'Escargot notched the difficult double in the years of 1970 and 1971.

Cheltenham Gold Cup (14 March). William Hill: 9-2 One Man, 5-1 Merry Gale, 6-1 Master Oats, 10-1 Book Of Music, 12-1 Barton Bank & Dublin Flyer, 14-1 Brief Gale & Jodami, 16-1 others.