Ronan McNally faces a race against time to get Dreal Deal back in the best possible shape ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.
The six-year-old booked his ticket to the game’s opener, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, with an astonishing last-to-first victory in the Moscow Flyer at Punchestown.
McNally’s Little Twine has been affected by aspergillosis, a reaction caused by a form of mold, and he is putting his hopes on a hotter period of time causing a change in fortunes.
“The horses just aren’t pulling right now, which is a bit of a disaster to come at Cheltenham,” McNally said.
“They got it wrong earlier in the season, we’ve been flying them all winter and now we have a lull again, which is a big blow – but that’s life.
“Since the week before Christmas, my horses weren’t quite right, we fought hard, we did some tests, and we haven’t gotten out of it yet.
“The Trigger ran on Sunday and he ran well, but I thought he would run a little better. We just have a real battle.
“I don’t think it’s the time, I think it’s the forage we got. When you are a small operator, it’s hard to get good forage all the time, because the big guys buy everything. I have found the biggest problem in racing is having good hay and silage consistently.
“It only takes one bad batch to hit a horse’s respiratory system. At least we know why – in the past we might have just said we were out of shape. Not ideal.”
If Dreal Deal didn’t do Cheltenham, McNally would be hoping to show up at one of the other big spring meetings.
“You can’t go to Cheltenham if you’re not 100%, you can’t go 70 or 80%. Three weeks ago, though, and a lot can change in three weeks with horses, we didn’t do it. gave up, ”he says.
“If he doesn’t go, there’s Aintree and Punchestown and he has options on the apartment.” If he’s not 100%, he won’t leave.
“There are three weeks left, a lot can happen. We have great weather for the next week or so and I might just put it on the pitch for a few days, that’s how we got over last year. Nothing. to loose.”