Encanto Bruno (Mahler) Wins The Novice Hurdle At Cheltenham

Son Of Mahler Impresses On Return To Cheltenham

Encanto Bruno (5g Mahler - Stratosphere, by Selkirk) showed his liking for Cheltenham once again on Friday, as he justified favouritism in the two and a half mile Novices’ Hurdle.

The son of Mahler won a bumper for John McConnell at last year’s meeting and was making his first start for Gavin Cromwell on Friday. Racing in touch under Keith Donoghue, the bay made smooth headway to challenge at the last and was simply shaken up on the run-in, while his rivals came under pressure. He led by two lengths on the line, while Mel Monroe (Walk In The Park) beat Tag Man (Fame And Glory) for second.

Speaking after the race, the winning trainer said, “He's versatile, he could come back to two miles. He's a lovely horse to look forward to and he'll be exciting when he jumps a fence.”

Friday marked a fifth win from seven career starts for Encanto Bruno, the first of which came in a four-year-old maiden for Colin Motherway. The M O’Keeffe-bred bay subsequently sold for £210,000 and now carries the colours of Derek Kierans.