Ornua Provides Mahler With Grade 1 Glory

Ornua Makes All To Land Grade 1 For Mahler

An excellent front-running performance saw Ornua (8g Mahler - Merry Heart, by Broken Hearted) gain his first Grade 1 victory in Saturday’s Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree.

Grade 1 placed at Sandown in December, the Henry de Bromhead-trained chestnut was sent off joint-favourite for the two mile contest, heading the market with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Us And Them. Leading from flag fall, Davy Russell asked his mount to quicken after the second last and was driven out, but never headed, to score by a length and three quarters.

The delighted winning trainer commented after the race, “It's great to win a Grade 1 and I thought Davy gave Ornua a lovely ride. He is a very good horse and he has done really well over fences. We'll have a look at the two-mile novice chase at Punchestown now. He deserves a crack at it and he hasn't been busy as he had a quiet winter.”

Owned by John Phelan and Syed Momin, Ornua was purchased privately after gaining his first win in a five-year-old maiden at Rathcannon for Joe Casey. Bred by Brett Merry, he is the highest-rated progeny of his dam.