Horses To Follow » Mount Benbulben

Mount Benbulben

The Gordon Elliott-trained Mount Benbulben was travelling well when he unseated his rider at the fourth last fence in the Champion Chase at Down Royal on Saturday. Of course, it is impossible to know how he would have fared, and Roi De Mee ran out a wide-margin winner in the end and probably had even more in hand than the 13-length winning margin, but Mount Benbulben was travelling at least as well as his stable companion at the time of his departure, and it is probable that he would have given the Gigginstown House horse a real race at the very least.

It is not the first time that jumping has been an issue for Barry Connell’s horse. He fell in his second chase at Punchestown as a novice last season, and a mistake at the third last when he was travelling well in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in April effectively ended his chance of winning that race. However, he showed in the Grade 1 Growise Chase at the Punchestown Festival last April how good he can be when he puts it all together. He does have to step forward again this season if he is to make his mark in the top grade, outside of novice company, but, if he can introduce some fluency into his jumping, there is every chance that he can.

Probably at his best over three miles on soft ground and going right-handed, the King George is a legitimate mid-season target for him, and he could be an interesting outsider in that if the ground came up soft. In the meantime, he would also be of interest in the John Durkan Chase, even over two and a half miles, again, if it came up soft.

2nd November 2013