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Trainer Nick Williams already has one eye on next season’s BetVictor Gold Cup for his Cheltenham Festival hero Siruh Du Lac.
The six-year-old claimed his fourth victory from as many starts this term when making virtually every yard of the running in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate under the trainer’s stepdaughter Lizzie Kelly.
Williams has decided to give his charge a well-earned summer break, and hopes he will be able to raise his game to defy the handicapper when he returns.
Williams said: “He won’t run again this season. He’s absolutely fine, but he was only ever going to have four runs this year, so we’ll put him away for the summer now.
“I think we’ll probably aim him towards the race at Cheltenham in November (BetVictor Gold Cup). He went up 9lb for winning at the Festival, which I thought was steep enough for winning by three-quarters of a length.
“He’s rated 150 now, which means he’s still a handicapper rather than a Graded horse.”
Siruh Du Lac was a second Festival winner in as many years for the Devon handler, after Coo Star Sivola landed the Ultima Handicap Chase 12 months earlier.
The seven-year-old was well fancied for the same race earlier this month, but was pulled up by Kelly.
Williams added: “He’s been disappointing all season, to be honest.
“I ran him at Aintree last year – after he won at Cheltenham. I think it was one run too many, and it has probably impacted on this season.
“We’ll see how he is, but I’m thinking I might take him to France for a three-mile chase on May 5. I think the fences out there could suit him.”