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Ranjaan a weekend possible

Wed, 17 October 2012

Ranjaan could return to action in Saturday's Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Trainer Paul Nicholls will decide on Thursday whether to pitch the four-year-old back into action at Prestbury Park's opening meeting or hang fire for a later date.

Ranjaan, a €200,000 purchase at Arqana in June 2011, made an excellent stat for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing last term, looking a true Cheltenham candidate after winning at Kempton and Taunton, though a minor setback prevented his participation in the Triumph Hurdle.

"I think he blows out on Thursday and Paul will make a decision then, but he's a very exciting horse," said Harry Herbert, racing manager for Highclere.

"He's come to hand much quicker than we expected. The original plan was to go to somewhere like Newbury for the Gerry Feilden in November, but obviously that has all been brought forward now.

"He's a typical Aga Khan-bred horse, he's still maturing and developing and has some growing to do.

"He was being prepared for the Triumph Hurdle last year and he had a bit of joint soreness. It was nothing major but we just thought it best to stop and give him time.

"I think we will have to see where he takes us. Cheltenham in March is a possibility at this stage, but he will take us where he takes us.

"Paul has a high regard for him, he's horse that has a lot more to give and will be a chaser in time, all being well."