Gold Cup contender Minella Indo a warm order for Navan's new Grade 2 chase
Grade 2 BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Chase | 3m | RTV
Henry de Bromhead bolstered his already strong hand in the two-mile chase division when Notebook made an impressive start to his season at Naas on Saturday, and the trainer could highlight his claims for top honours in the staying chase sphere this season with Minella Indo at Navan.
Minella Indo went close to following up on his Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle success with victory in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham last season, finding only the fast-finishing Champ too good.
There was a lot to like about his reappearance at Wexford where he accounted for fellow festival winner Milan Native, but he seems to have scared off any meaningful opposition in this Grade 2 second-season novice, a new race in the calendar this season.
De Bromhead is keen to get more experience into the hugely exciting chaser, who is just 9-1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He said: “We were delighted with him at Wexford and he seems to be in good form since that, so we'll see how we go at Navan. It's a new race for this season and the conditions seem like they will suit, and it's all about getting more experience into him.”
De Bromhead added: “The Savills Chase looks like it could be an option for him but we'll see how he gets on in this first of all. He's done little wrong thus far in his career, and he's obviously very exciting, but you never like to tempt fate in this game, so we're just taking each race as it comes.”
Gordon Elliott knows too well how good Minella Indo is, having watched on as Milan Native, a Kim Muir winner, was made to look pedestrian by De Bromhead’s charge at Wexford.
However, the master of Cullentra House is trying his hand with a different festival hero this time, National Hunt Chase winner Ravenhill, but appreciates that his chaser has a lot on his plate to gobble up Minella Indo.
Elliott said: “Ravenhill is in good form but Minella Indo looks as though he’ll be hard to beat. Hopefully, he can sneak a bit of prize-money.”
The Willie Mullins-trained Brahma Bull and Noel Meade's Dream Conti complete the select field.
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