Milan Native Leaps On To Cheltenham Festival Honour Roll
Milan Native (7g Milan – That’s The Goose, by Be My Native) got off the mark over fences when it mattered most, as he jumped beautifully to land Thursday’s Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Grade 2 placed over hurdles last season, he had since finished second over fences on three occasions and made a significant step up in trip to three miles and two furlongs on his latest start. Produced to lead from two out, he was driven out by Rob James to win by a length and three quarters, with another length and a half back to Bob Mahler (Mahler) in third.
Milan Native completed a treble on the day for Gordon Elliott and a double for Gigginstown House Stud, while it marked a first Festival success for Rob James, who later said, “It's unbelievable. Milan Native winged the second last and then he was gone, he was actually pricking his ears going to the line.”
Bred by Eugene Condon, Milan Native is closely related to Grade 1 hurdler Colour Squadron, who also finished second over fences at the Cheltenham Festival.
Grange Stud sire Milan is no stranger to Cheltenham Festival success, his notable winners including Jezki in the Champion Hurdle, Martello Tower in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and Josies Orders in the Glenfarclas Chase. He was one of three Grange Stud sires to celebrate a festival winner on Thursday, with Min (Walk In The Park) taking the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, while Lisnagar Oscar (Oscar) landed the Stayers’ Hurdle.