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RYANAIR CHASE: Leopardstown hero Conflated to head for Thursday feature over 2022 Gold Cup, connections confirm

Allaho will take on this year’s Leopardstown Gold Cup hero Conflated in two weeks’ time

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Davy Russell on board Conflated win the Irish Gold Cup during day one of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin, Ireland. Picture date: Saturday February 5, 2022. Cheltenham

Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated will take on Allaho in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, owner Michael O’Leary has confirmed.

Gigginstown House Stud have not had a winner in the race since Balko Des Flos saw off Un De Sceaux back in 2018, with Willie Mullins taking the last two renewals through Min and the aforementioned ante-post favourite for this year’s contest.

But Gordon Elliot’s charge will drop down in trip at Prestbury Park instead of taking on stable-mate Galvin in the blue ribbon contest.

Gordon Elliot at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Can Gordon Elliot’s Conflated hand Cullentra a first Ryanair win in four years?

“I don’t think Conflated will win the Gold Cup, because if Galvin runs in the Gold Cup for Gordon, I think we’ll switch Conflated to the Ryanair,” O’Leary told Sky Sports Racing.

“I don’t think Conflated would beat Galvin and I think it would make sense from Gordon’s point of view to divide the two horses.

WATCH: CONFLATED IS A RUNAWAY WINNER OF THE IRISH GOLD CUP AT LEOPARDSTOWN [CREDIT: RACING TV]

“We’ll go and take on Willie in the Ryanair.”

The popular owner also confirmed that the Gloucestershire track will be the stage of Tiger Roll’s last ever racecourse appearance.

A five-time winner at the Festival, the former Grand National successor will be retired after the Cross Country Chase on day two.

Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 13, 2019 Keith Donoghue celebrates winning the 4.10 Glenfarclas Chase on Tiger Roll Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Tiger Roll will make his eighth and final appearance at the Festival next month

“You cannot defy age. He will not be in the Grand National by the time he runs in the cross country – he’s coming out at the next forfeit stage. I have no intention of asking the horse, who is like a fifth child to me, to carry 11st 8lb or 11st 10lb around Aintree at his age.

“Thankfully, the Tiger Roll controversy will never happen again because he will be retired after the cross-country race in Cheltenham this year.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.