After dropping a smooth impressive performance at Navan, Minella Indo inches one step closer to attaining the right credentials for participating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The 7-year-old gelding came close to securing a victory in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham last campaign, but unfortunately, Nicky Henderson’s charge proved to be too challenging for him. Last month, Minella Indo made a stunning start to the campaign in a Grade Three race at Wexford.
Having to challenge three of his rivals in the Grade Two BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Chase, Indo was being priced at 2-11 favorite while Rachael Blackmore takes the role of the jockey.
Brahma Bull was made competitive in the race in the hands of David Mullins, racing quite impressively to round the home turn before moving to the stands rail.
Blackmore, who didn’t lag, got off quite well with her mount in the race. Indo was most impressive in the final two fences, which was when he claimed the lead before putting a seven and a half lengths clear from the runner-up.
Speaking to the media, Henry de Bromhead said: “I’m delighted with that. He did everything well, it was a lovely race for him and I’m glad we’ve got it behind us now.
“You couldn’t have asked him to do it any better. He jumped well and did everything he had to do.
He also talked about their next stop, which is going to be the Savills Chase, a Grade One National Hunt steeplechase, at Christmas as you can also see returns on your bet after placing your stakes on the upcoming December event.
“I would imagine we’ll aim towards the Savills Chase at Christmas, I think that will be our next one.
“He’s had two nice races for second-season novices and now we have to go against the big lads and see how we fare there.”
He was asked if there are hopes of the gelding becoming better than his stablemate Monalee, who came out fourth in the Gold Cup last campaign, De Bromhead said: “It would be great if he is because Monalee is rated 171, so if he is I’ll be very happy!
“He’s probably achieved a little bit more in each division because he won his Albert Bartlett and Monalee was second, I don’t know if it might have been a lesser race.
“He was only just chinned in an RSA and Monalee was well beaten – I don’t know, it’s unfair on Monalee, but we can’t fault what he’s doing at the moment.
“It’s nice to have a possible Gold Cup contender like him, but all along last year, we thought Monalee had a great chance and thankfully he ran as he did.
“It’s great and the more of these types you can have the better. We’ll see how it all unfolds between now and then.
“At the moment we’re thinking Monalee for King George, but if they end up having to run against each other they have to run against each other.
“Ideally you’d prefer not to, with the same owners.”
For Coral, Minella Indo became their joint-second favorite along with Santini for the Gold Cup only behind Al Boum Photo, who is currently the 6-1 favorite. Minella Indo and Santini remains 7-1.
In other news, Fakiera (4-1) was able to come out victorious as he won the 12.10 BetVictor Casino Monksfield Novice Hurdle as Fire Attack(7-1) and Champagne Gold(18-1) came out second and third respectively.