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Martin Brassil is keen to move on from City Island’s below-par effort at the Punchestown Festival.
Having provided his Grand National-winning trainer with a first ever Cheltenham Festival success when impressing in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park in March, the six-year-old was all the rage to land a second Grade One success on Friday.
But Derek O’Connor’s mount finished a well-beaten sixth behind Colin Tizzard’s British raider Reserve Tank in the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle, and Brassil is sure City Island’s Cheltenham exertions had taken their toll.
He said: “City Island is fine. We checked him out, and the vets looked at him.
“Cheltenham just left its mark – and we had to run at Punchestown to find out.”
Whether City Island will remain over hurdles or pursue a career over fences next season is as yet undecide.
Brassil added: “He’s a really nice horse. We’ll have a chat about plans for him next season later on, when the dust settles.”