INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Rite Stuff

Weld makes decision on Rite Of Passage future

To hurdle or not to hurdle, is the question for renowned trainer.

DERMOT WELD SAYS it’s unlikely that his Royal Ascot Gold Cup hero Rite Of Passage will be campaigned over hurdles this season.

Race-mare Profound Beauty has also been retired, according to the Press Association.

Passage has won two of his three outings over timber, his only defeat coming at the hands of Peddlers Cross at the Cheltenham Festival.

He is unbeaten on the flat and the trainer says the six-year-old is feeling good:

He’s here at Rosewell House and is in great form. He was a bit stiff and sore after he won the Gold Cup so we gave him time out and he came back nicely.

We were going to go for the Melbourne Cup but then we decided we’d give him a bit more time and we’ve yet to decide whether we go hurdling with him this winter.

It would appear less likely and obviously we’d like to have a crack at winning another Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Having been injured since last year’s Irish Champion Stakes, Weld is keen to send him over the hurdles at some stage, he feels this might be a season too soon.

I don’t think he’ll go hurdling this winter I’m afraid. He got a tendon injury when running a very good race behind Sea The Stars on his last run and I just think he needs more time.