Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
IRISH TRAINER Peter Maher wants good ground at the International meeting at Cheltenham on Friday for his two runners in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase.
The Country Kildare-based handler bids to add to his earlier success in long-distance races at Cheltenham having scored with Big Shu in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Mahler is set to be represented by Ballyboker Bridge and Mtada Supreme in the extended three miles and six furlong contest at Cheltenham (2.05pm) where the going is currently good to firm.
Ballyboker Bridge and Mtada Supreme were second and fourth at Punchestown at their last start. The pair ran in the Glenfarclas chase at the International last year where they finished third and seventh respectively.
“I am hoping to bring over Ballyboker Bridge and Mtada Supreme to Cheltenham, providing the ground is not too quick,” Mahler said.
“Ballyboker Bridge was sixth on his first start last season and then finished third in this race before winning at Punchestown. He had a wind operation over the summer and was second on his seasonal return, so there has been a bit of an improvement and he seems to be finishing his races out better.
“After seeing how well he stayed on last time, I wanted to send him to Cheltenham, especially with the race being a handicap this time.
“Mtada Supreme wasn’t fit enough when he ran at Cheltenham last year. He has bad wind and needs plenty of work, but his joints get sore easily. He has won around Tinahely, which is a big hill track much like Cheltenham, a few times in point-to-points and I know he stays.
“He beat the La Touche Cup winner, Quantitativeeasing, last season and he should be in the money next week because he jumps and gallops. I wouldn’t be worried if he is out of the handicap as he is a good cross-country horse and can hold his own.”
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.