Updated: 19/02/2012 18:35 | By pa.press.net

Lad's bumper bid up in air

Champion Bumper action

Champion Bumper action

Permit holder and amateur rider Mikey O'Connor is hoping the ground isn't too quick at Cheltenham next month for his exciting bumper contender Clonbanan Lad.

The six-year-old put himself in line for a crack at the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Festival after trouncing the Willie Mullins-trained Mozoltov at Naas.

Cork-based O'Connor said: "He's come out of the race good. I genuinely thought he wouldn't get beat, but Willie said before the race his (Mozoltov) was the best bumper horse he had this year and he was going to Cheltenham with him, so that put me off a little bit."

He added: "He'll probably go to Cheltenham now, though the only thing we have in the back of our heads is that he's so good in soft ground.

"There's no reason to think he won't handle good ground, but if it was quicker than that he wouldn't run. There'd be no point in risking him when we don't have to. The main aim would be the year after over hurdles.

"We don't exactly know how good he is and there are other meetings over here he could run in if the ground was suitable."

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