Terrefort adds to Jacob and Henderson's tally with staying success
Terrefort bounced back from defeat to Shattered Love at Cheltenham to land the Mildmay Novices' Chase and give his rampant trainer Nicky Henderson a fourth Grade 1 of the Grand National festival.
With two Grade 1 wins in just four starts for Henderson since arriving from France at Christmas and as a mere five-year-old Terrefort is fast emerging as a nascent superstar of Seven Barrows. This, his first win over three miles, opens up a world of opportunities and Betfair cut him to 20-1 (from 33) for the King George while also introducing him at 40-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Considering the last two winners of this race are reigning Gold Cup (Native River) and King George (Might Bite) champions such lofty targets will surely be under consideration, although Henderson was not committing to targets.
"He is only five and I don't know [what's next]," he said. "He's a winter horse, there's no point coming out early. He'll have to do down some sort of route and the handicapper isn't going to give him much of a chance. We'll see - we've got a long summer to dream about it."
Ridden by Daryl Jacob, Terrefort emerged full of running at the business-end of the race and pulled away from the game Ms Parfois on the run-in to secure a 3¾l win.
Jacob, himself picking up a third Grade 1 of the meeting following wins on We Have A Dream and L'Ami Serge, all for Henderson and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, added: "He jumped class all the way. I got him in tight to a couple of fences because we were going to get there too soon.
"I missed out at Cheltenham [when beaten in the JLT] and I was absolutely gutted. I promise you I have been looking forward to this week for a long, long time.
"I am absolutely blessed that I have got Simon, Isaac and Anthony [Bromley, racing manager]. They leave it all to me and win, lose or draw they are 100 per cent supportive of me."
Ms Parfois trainer Anthony Honeyball was pleased with his sweet-jumping mare and is eyeing up marathon trips for her next term.
"She is a very good mare," he said. "I think we will aim her at the Welsh National next season. In fact probably the Grand National too. It would lovely if the ground then was like it is today. There are not many that probably want it like this."