Mail De Bievre: could be supplemented for the Champion ChasePICTURE: Martin Dalton/TGSPHOTO
Champion Chase aim for 'exciting' Mail De Bievre
TOM GEORGE is considering supplementing Mail De Bievre for the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase to take on Sprinter Sacre after his new French recruit's exuberant cameo performance at Newbury on Saturday.
On his British debut, and his first run since September 2011, Mail De Bievre produced a lively front-running effort until he was headed from the third-last fence to finish fifth behind Silviniaco Conti in the Denman Chase over a three-mile trip his trainer believes may have been too far for him.
"He is obviously a very exciting horse," said George. "He did run with the choke out but Paddy [Brennan] said he couldn't go any steadier on him, that's the way the horse has always run so two and a half miles would have been far enough. He has an unbelievably high cruising speed, his jumping is excellent and he probably got tired going to the second last.
"In hindsight we probably should have run him in the Game Spirit over two miles, but it's hard to know because he was running over two miles six in France. He is going to improve for the run - it was his first run in a chase for three years. He is going to come on a lot for the run but it's a question of which distance we run him over.
"He is quick enough to run over two miles and there won't be many two-mile horses that could go with him. He's not in the Champion Chase but we are thinking about it because there aren't many that can do his kind of thing. Something has to run against Sprinter Sacre and I can't see many others who are like Mail De Bievre.
"Paddy said he was only in second gear. To ride he didn't feel he was going very quick at all, which makes us think he can go a great deal quicker if he wanted to over two miles."