After winning his chase debut, Mullins suggests Sir Gerhard as a likely target for Cheltenham

 

After winning his chase debut, Mullins suggests Sir Gerhard as a likely target for Cheltenham.

Following his first victory over fences, Sir Gerhard will immediately attend the Cheltenham Festival, and Willie Mullins has designated the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase as his most likely target at the meeting.

The eight-year-old horse, whose impressive resume includes the Champion Bumper and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, won easily in his first start since April.

Despite winning over the two-mile trip at Gowran Park, he remains unchanged at 6-1 for the Turner’s Novices Chase and 10-1 for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase with Paddy Power. However, the latter race is the preferred target. Additionally, he is entered in the Arkle, Champion Hurdle, and Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Mullins said: “It’ll be too soon to run again so he’ll probably go there on today’s run. I think we’ll be going for a longer trip, he’d be going a couple of miles an hour slower than he would in the Arkle so there’s the two and a half or three miles. He isn’t in the National Hunt Chase. I think the three miles, the Brown Advisory, but you know me. He has to come out of that race first so we’ll see.”

Sir Gerhard put on a solid jumping display despite making a mistake at the fence in front of the stands.

The performance, especially at the end, was well received by connections. Mullins continued, “He didn’t impress me for the first mile and a half. I didn’t know what to think. Paul [Townend] said to me after the race that he thought he was on a schooling day, he wasn’t racing.”

“After the fourth last when he sent him up the inside he said it clicked in and it was like turning on the turbo, he turned into a racehorse who wanted to race. From there it was very impressive and when Paul told me that, I thought it was a good performance then.”

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