Trainer Patrick Neville has confirmed that his stable star The Real Whacker will be heading straight to the Cheltenham Festival off the back of his win in the Dipper Novices' Chase, with the Grade One Brown Advisory his big target of the season.
A lightly raced seven year old, the gelding has big ability especially since being sent over fences this season where he looks a massively improved animal and his allowed his connections to dream big for the season.
Given a run over hurdles at Cheltenham at the October meeting when only 11th of 15 in a Pertemps qualifier, he was then sent over fence at the November meeting back at Prestbury Park and made an emphatic debut to see off the talented Indigo Breeze.
Having his third straight run at Cheltenham when seen last time out, he showed just how good he was again at odds of 10/1 to land the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase, seeing off smart stars like Monmiral and Thunder Rock to score easily.
William Hill Radio's Andy Holding waxed lyrical about the horse on the latest episode of the bookmakers new racing review and Cheltenham Festival show The Inside Track explaining he has set the best time figures for any horse in that division this season.
Trainer Patrick Neville was also very happy with the performance and having explained he has come out of the race well, it is now all systems go for the Cheltenham festival where he will step up to Grade One company for the first time in his career over fences, trying to land Brown Advisory Novices' Chase.
(Credit ATR) Neville said: “He came out of the race on New Year’s Day very good, I’m very happy with him. He stepped up a good bit and I was delighted with him.
“I think he’ll go straight to the Festival now – we’re not that far away. Probably the most logical will be the Brown Advisory. I gave him an entry in the Gold Cup, but we’ll probably go for the three-mile novice.
“His jumping is very good and his last run was only his sixth run. He hasn’t much mileage on the clock and if he keeps progressing, I’ll be happy.”