RSA Chase trip and ground will suit First Lieutenant

Mouse Morris expects the three miles on good ground of the RSA Chase to bring out the best in First Lieutenant.

A winner at the Festival last year when he collared Rock On Ruby in the final strides of the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, his chasing career has not been plain sailing.

Having won a Grade Three on his chasing debut, he was then beaten at Cork by De Valira before returning there to win another Grade Three.

He gave himself a nose bleed with a bad mistake in the Drinmore, in which he was eventually pulled up, and then had to give best to Last Instalment in the Fort Leney Novice Chase.

However, Morris feels the return to a likely sound surface is the most important factor at Cheltenham.

“Everything is good with him and if he’s sound he’ll be running in the RSA,” he said.

“I think he’s always been a horse who has looked like he wants three miles on good ground over fences.

“Last year he was only just getting going after the last.

“If you look in the formbook it usually says about him ‘doing best work at finish’ and I hope it’s the same again.

“I just wish they’d ease off with that watering a bit.”

First Lieutenant can be backed at 7-1 in the RSA Chase.