A pair of bright prospects finished first past the post for Mahler in exciting fashion at Kempton on Friday.
First up, the Nicky Henderson-trained OK Corral (8g Mahler-Acoola, by Flemensfirth) justified even money favouritism when winning the 12-runner 2m 5f novices’ hurdle by seven lengths for owner J P McManus.
A €90,000 store bred by Declan Dorgan, OK Corral is expected to be an even classier performer when going chasing next season.
“I can’t wait to get him over fences next year – he jumps so well,” said Henderson. “Like me he is getting better with age.”
Meanwhile, trainer Chris Gordon is eyeing either the championship bumpers at Cheltenham or Aintree with Commanche Red (5g Mahler-Auntie Bob, by Overbury) after the Mahler gelding won what looked a high-class bumper at Kempton by five lengths.
“I thought the ground would be too sticky for Commanche Red,” admitted Gordon. “Tom (Cannon) was talking about Cheltenham but I think Aintree could be the option and the big picture for me is a nice chase in three years’ time.”
Commanche Red was bred by John Travers.