Noel Meade believes Road To Respect is ready to emulate the likes of Might Bite and Anibale Fly by sparking in next week’s Punchestown Gold Cup.
The seven-year-old finish a gallant fourth in last month’s Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival and has been deliberately given a rest since.
Might Bite, second in the Blue Ribband, came out last week and won the Aintree Bowl for trainer Nicky Henderson, while Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly carried a big weight in running into the place in the Grand National at the Merseyside track.
Road To Respect was a winner of the Grade One Leopardstown Christmas Chase earlier this season and has two wins and one runner-up finish from his four runs this term, alongside that Cheltenham effort.
The Gigginstown House-owned runner was given time to get over his exploits in the Cotswolds by Meade, who expects that he will see the benefit of that come Punchestown where he looks to cap off a fine season.
“He’s great. We’ve had a great run with him since Cheltenham,” the handler told At The Races.
“He’s not a horse that takes a lot of work. He just has one piece of work to do before he runs and so far everything has gone very much to plan.
“We decided after Cheltenham that we were going to skip Liverpool (Aintree), so that worked out well enough. He had an easy enough time for a while and we’re just building him back up now.”
Road To Respect is favourite at 3.25 to win the Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday, while Willie Mullins is 5.00 to score with Bellshill.