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    Gilligan is quite proud of Buddy One's latest excellent work
Gilligan is quite proud of Buddy One's latest excellent work
Gilligan is quite proud of Buddy One's latest excellent work. Source: limerickleader.ie

Gilligan is quite proud of Buddy One's latest excellent work

Following another incredible effort in the JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle by stable hero Buddy One, Paul Gilligan has his sights set on the Punchestown Festival.

Riding for the trainer's son Jack, the seven-year-old made connections proud by finishing fourth at 40-1 in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

From there, he targeted the Aintree staying prize, and while beginning at odds of 15-2, he was not as undervalued by the market this time.

With three flights remaining to jump, the gelding took the lead after galloping strongly and appeared to be the winner at one point, but Olly Murphy's Strong Leader overtook him to win.

Even so, Buddy One finished a creditable second and may now conclude his season at Punchestown before aiming for a novice chasing campaign the following year.

Gilligan added: “He came home 100 per cent from it, fresh and well, I’m over the moon with the run”.

“It’s a pity one had to pass us, but we’re delighted with him and he’s very, very well after it.

“It’s up in the air whether he’ll go to Punchestown with him, we possibly will, in fact, I think we might, but we’ll see and the main thing to us is that he’s safe and sound.”

Gilligan is hopeful that Buddy One's performances at the two major National Hunt meetings in England will be sufficient to draw new owners to his stable in Galway.

He highlighted: “We had a great time in Cheltenham and Aintree and these horses are hard to come by, we’re just hoping next time we come to England somebody will say ‘will you take a horse or two for me!’.”

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