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Noel Meade considering Dublin Festival date for Grade 1 Fairyhouse winner

Setback ruled out a Christmas run for Drinmore winner.

Denis O'Regan onboard Beacon Edge celebrates winning at Fairyhouse.
Denis O'Regan onboard Beacon Edge celebrates winning at Fairyhouse.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

BEACON EDGE COULD return to action at the Dublin Racing Festival after missing an intended outing over the Christmas period due to a bout of colic.

Already a Grade One winner over fences having landed the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse, Noel Meade’s charge looked set to bid for further top-level honours at Leopardstown last month.

And while the eight-year-old missed out on a festive appearance, he is reported to have made a good recovery and has the option of running in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase in early February.

Meade said: “He got a colic the day after Christmas Day. He’s OK now – he’s fine.

“There’s a possibility he may run at the Dublin Racing Festival in the Grade One, two-mile-five chase.

“If he doesn’t go there then I don’t think there’s an alternative for him, as he’d have a Grade One penalty in all those other novice chases.

“I’d say if he doesn’t go to Leopardstown, he’d go straight to Cheltenham for the three-mile novice.”

School Boy Hours was a big Christmas winner for the Meade stable – lunging late to land a thrilling renewal of Leopardstown’s Paddy Power Chase.

sean-flanagan-onboard-school-boy-hours-speaks-to-the-media-after-the-race Sean Flanagan on board School Boy Hours after the Leopardstown success. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The Tu Va handler views the JP McManus-owned gelding as a potential Grand National contender and he looks set to be saved for the spring.

“He’s in good form and the English National and the Irish National are both under consideration. I’d say it’s unlikely he’ll run before that,” Meade added.

“It hasn’t been decided upon yet, but that’s the most likely route we’ll take with him.”

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The trainer provided a less positive update on Jeff Kidder, who enjoyed a spectacular end to last season with big-race wins at Cheltenham, Fairyhouse and Punchestown.

He has been beaten in each of his four starts since, however, and is set for a spell on the sidelines.

Meade said: “He got injured in his box about a month before Christmas. He’s over it now, but it held him up completely so he won’t make Cheltenham this year.”

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