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O'Neill is targeting National
5:20pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
LAST year’s Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup winner Jonjo O’Neill is not expecting to retain his crown this time around.
The Temple Guiting trainer enjoyed victory with Synchronised in 2012 but joy turned to sorrow at Aintree the following month when the nine-year-old fractured a leg.
Sunnyhillboy is O’Neill’s entry this time but only to prepare for the Grand National which he lost by a nose last year.
A strong O’Neill contender is Newbury’s Challow Hurdle victor Taquin Du Seuil who is third with the bookies for Wednesday’s Neptune Novices Hurdle.
Leading O’Neill’s bid for a sixth John Oaksey National Hunt Chase on the same day is likely to be Merry King.
Veteran Albertas Run challenges for a third Ryanair Chase next Thursday, while the enigmatic Get Me Out Of Here tackles the Coral Cup or World Hurdle.