Willie Mullin’s seven-year-old Kemboy is set for a huge 2019/20 season after finishing the last on a massive high. The horse took a while to find its best form, heading into Cheltenham on the back of three wins Ireland. The Gold Cup Chase could not have gone any worse for jockey David Mullins who was unseated at the first fence after an awkward landing. Champion jockey Ruby Walsh booked to ride Kemboy at Aintree in the Betway Bowl chase landing a Grade 1 win by beating Gold cup contenders. The Punchestown Gold Cup lay in wait for Walsh and Kemboy, taking on Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo. A champion’s performance from both horse and jockey saw Kemboy see off rival Al Boum Photo by two lengths with Ruby Walsh announcing his immediate retirement. The end of the season could not have
An exciting French recruit for Willie Mullins’ Closutton Yard, whose name is bound to be popular with punters. After being well beaten on its first start as a three year old at Chantilly, it took another two runs before a win would come on the flat. After impressing at Maisons-Laffitte Irish owner Rich Ricci purchased the French horse. With recent successes for horses such as Douvan, Benie des dieux, and Chacun Pour Soi, the new connections will be hopeful of seeing Jon Snow in the winner’s enclosure soon, especially after comparisons to ‘The Machine’ Faugheen.
The Cheltenham February sale saw Irish champion trainer Gordon Elliott land Wide receiver for a sum of £410,000. Shortly before Elliott and agent Tom Malone paid the large sum, the four year old was a maiden point-to-point winner at Cragmore. The horse bolted up over two and a half miles, showing a lot more pace than the rest in a comfortable victory, potentially hinting at being able to run over a three-mile distance. A horse that has a turn of foot suitable for bumpers and clearly has potential to be a top national hunt horse
Elixir De Nutz
A horse the Tizzard is described as “one of our best chances” heading into the 2019 Cheltenham festival was extremely unlucky not to race at the meeting. It was third time lucky for the French recruit after being trained by Guy Cherel and Philip Hobbs; Colin Tizzard finally got the best out of the horse. A dual Grade 2 winner and sole Grade 1 winner, Elixir is a 153 rated novice hurdler who was cruelly denied a chance of greatness. Connections and fans alike will be hopeful of a very successful season for the 5 year old.
Nicky Henderson’s Santini has had a largely successful career to date. A Grade 1 and 2 winner over hurdles, Henderson sent his horse chasing, winning first time out at Newbury in 2018. Aintree was the big test for Santini, losing by just ½ a length to Paul Nicholl’s Topofthegame. That run at Aintree was not the best from a horse that has promised so much, with a couple of mistakes and was still in touch right to the finish. That run proved the horse was good enough to stay with the very best horses and cutting out any mistakes will see Santini have a great season.
Picture by vegaseddie under Creative Media Commons