Hunt Ball aimed at Byrne Plate

02 February 2013 05:30:29 EST

Hunt Ball's owner Anthony Knott has taken his horse out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup as forecast rain would ensure ground conditions were all against him.

We want to find a race we can win at Cheltenham and the Byrne looks to be the one to me.

Anthony Knott

Instead he is aiming the fairy story of last season at the Byrne Group Plate, believing the shorter distance of two miles five furlongs will also be more to his liking.

Knott said: "It took him several days to get over his latest run at Cheltenham over three miles two furlongs, where he was beaten into third by Cape Tribulation and Imperial Commander.

"I love that horse and don't want to see him like that again. He obviously has issues at three miles or more and given the sort of ground we are likely to get I have taken an early decision.

"The forecasters are saying we are in for plenty of rain, so I'm comfortable making the decision at this stage.

"We want to find a race we can win at Cheltenham and the Byrne looks to be the one to me. He comes down in class and is within his comfort zone at two miles five."

Hunt Ball is 8/1 to win the Byrne Group Plate, with Walkon 12/1 and Unioniste 999/1.

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