Minella Indo Eyes Savills Chase After Navan Rout

Minella Indo

Henry De Bromhead's leading hope for the Cheltenham Gold Cup extended his credentials ahead of the the March feature contest with Minella Indo landing a decent Grade Two Chase at Navan on Sunday with an expert round of jumping.

The seven year old has raced 10 times during his short career and has not finished outside the top three in his point to point and rules career to date.

Two seasons ago on his final two starts over hurdles he really came to life landing the Grade One Albert Bartlett at the festival at a huge price of 50/1 and then backed that up at the Punchestown festival when landing another classy Grade One.

He went novice chasing last season and after running well on debut behind star mare Laurina, he landed a Beginners Chase at Navan before narrowly being beaten in the RSA Novices' Chase at the festival, With Champ pipping him on the line.

Coming out of novice company this term he started his season off at Wexford at the back end of October in the Grade Three Memorial Chase where he jumped the field into submission, going on to win the event by 25 lengths.

Having again put up another superb performance his handler is looking at Leopardstown at Christmas with the Grade One Savills Chase another big test for the stable star.

(Credit ATR) De Bromhead said: “I’m delighted with that. He did everything good, 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 really well and did everything he had to do.

“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.”

De Bromhead believes that his gelding can be better than his proven chaser Monalee who has a rating of 171 and if getting close to that has to be a contender for the Gold Cup.

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 like 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 the 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.”

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