JOHN QUINN believes there will be “plenty of good days” ahead for Rutherglen and Pearl Castle after they finished fifth and seventh in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Norton trainer has targeted the Grand National meeting at Aintree for Pearl Castle after he came unstuck going down the hill at Prestbury Park on the run-in towards the winning post.
Rutherglen may be sent over longer distances as he was outpaced by the quartet of horses which saw Tiger Roll emerge as a 10-1 winner of the Grade 1 race for four-year-olds.“He stayed on really well and I am very pleased with him,”Quinn said of Rutherglen.
“With Pearl Castle, we thought that flat tracks would suit him better and this has showed that.
“But we are very pleased.They have finished fifth and seventh in a Grade 1 and there will be plenty of good days for them.”
On Pearl Castle’s difficulties with the undulating Cheltenham track, Quinn added: “Brian Hughes (jockey) said he didn’t go down the hill. If you don’t do that here, they are gone on you.
“I am pleased with them and both are in one piece.”
Quinn added that the drying ground, with the final day of the Festival staged in warm sunshine, may also have been a negative for Rutherglen.
“He fights and stays,” he said. “I am happy as anyone could be without winning. “They went a bit quick for him and the ground might have dried a bit for him.”
Urban Hymn, trained by Norton’s Malcolm Jefferson, finished seventh in an incidentpacked Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
He was up with the leaders Briar Hill and Kings Palace early on but, when the three mile race got serious, he was soon outpaced as 33-1 shot Very Wood claimed the £120,000 contest.
Ganbei, trained by Sheriff Hutton’s Stephanie Easterby, was a faller in the CGA Foxhunter Chase won by Tammys Hill (15-2).
Meanwhile, Viva Colonia and Lucky Landing failed to feature in the closing Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase for Norton trainers Brian Ellison and Tony Coyle.