My Mate Mozzie is likely to head straight to Dublin Racing Festival following his narrow defeat at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
A point-to-point and bumper winner and impressive on his first two starts over hurdles, the five-year-old was favourite to successfully graduate to Grade One level in the Royal Bond.
Having been ridden prominently but not fluent at the last, Gavin Cromwell’s charge was denied in the shadow of the post – going down a short head to Willie Mullins-trained mare Statuaire.
Cromwell said: “The Royal Bond was a messy enough race and My Mate Mozzie was a bit keen. He just got under the last and but for that he would have won.
“We’re probably going to bypass Christmas. He’s had three runs now and I’d say we might give him a couple of weeks off and bring him back for the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February.”
It proved to be a frustrating afternoon for Cromwell at Fairyhouse, with Gabynako also having to make do with the runner-up spot in the following Drinmore Novice Chase following two crucial mistakes.
The six-year-old is likely to be in action over the festive period, with a step up to three miles for Leopardstown’s Neville Hotels Novice Chase the preferred option as things stand.
“It’s frustrating, but both horses ran a cracker and I suppose it’s great they showed they can be competitive at that level,” Cromwell added.
“Gabynako made two mistakes at the second-last and the last, which probably cost him the race.
“He could potentially go to three miles in the novice chase in Leopardstown. He’s entered over two and a half in Limerick, but I think we might step him up.
“Obviously I have Vanillier at home as well and we’ll try to keep them separated.”