Horses To Follow » Mahler Mission

Mahler Mission

Mahler Mission was impressive in winning the three-mile beginners’ chase at Navan on Saturday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Ben Harvey, he quickly settled into a nice rhythm in front, jumping and travelling easily. He was challenged by Shantreusse at the top of the home straight, but he jumped on over the third last fence, despite getting in a little tight to the obstacle, and he picked up well from there, coming away from his rivals over the last two fences and winning by 10 lengths in the end from Tenzing, who kept on well to take second place.

John McConnell’s horse is an exciting young staying chaser now. He was a talented hurdler, he won the Grade 2 River Don Hurdle at Doncaster last January, when he battled on well to beat this year’s Dipper Chase winner The Real Whacker – now rated 153 over fences and a potential Gold Cup contender – with the pair of them clear. He started off his chasing career with an abject performance in a three-horse race at Cheltenham’s October meeting, but he put that behind him with a really encouraging run to finish a close-up third behind the progressive mare Must Be Obeyed at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve. This was another step forward from that, and it augurs really well for the future. His trainer mentioned the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham as a potential target now, and that makes sense. He will also be of interest if he is aimed at one of the high-class staying handicap chases in the spring.
Navan, 21st January 2023