Tuite puts Yorkshire Cup on Litigant’s radar

Jockey Oisin Murphy (left) owner Tony Byrne and trainer Joseph Tuite (right) celebrate after Litigant winning the Betfred Ebor Handicap at York in August.
Jockey Oisin Murphy (left) owner Tony Byrne and trainer Joseph Tuite (right) celebrate after Litigant winning the Betfred Ebor Handicap at York in August.
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Trainer Joseph Tuite is targeting the Betway Yorkshire Cup at York in May as a starting point for stable star Litigant.

The eight-year-old was a shock winner of the Ebor handicap on the Knavesmire last summer before going on to claim the November Handicap at Doncaster on his final start of 2015.

A return to York is now on the cards with an ambitious crack at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot already on Tuite’s mind.

“He’s back in work and everything leads in to York for the Dante meeting, a mile-and-six Group Two,” said the trainer.

“We’ll go there and from there Royal Ascot, all being well, for the Gold Cup. That’s Plan A anyway.

“He’s great, he’s in rude health and things are fine. That’s what we’ve set our stall out to do anyway.

“Everything is ground dependent with him and will he stay sound, but that’s the plan.

“We never really stopped with him, just to keep him supple, and he’s back now doing two canters every day.

“He was very impressive in the November Handicap last year and we have to go the Group-route this year. We certainly think he’s good enough.”

*Willie Mullins has a strong-hand at the five-day stage of the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury with four of the top six in the weights from 31 to stand their ground.

Despite taking out Sempre Medici, Mullins has left in Dicosimo, Kalkir, Ivan Grozny, Petite Parisienne, Buiseness Sivola, Noble Inn and Whiteout. Saturday’s impressive Leopardstown winner Blazer has also been left in, but is unlikely to make the cut.

Philip Hobbs’ War Sound has been well-backed and remains in the mix, along with stablemate Sternrubin, who dead-heated for the Ladbroke, and top-weight Cheltenian.

Noel Meade’s Waxies Dargle is in for owner JP McManus, who has another strong fancy in Paul Nicholls’ Modus.

Might Bite wins the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April.

Henderson: Ground is key for Bite