Minella Indo set for Navan as Cheltenham prep continues

Presenting Percy set for his second run of the season at Thurles on Thursday

Minella Indo is set to line up at Navan on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Minella Indo is set to continue his progress through the chasing ranks at Navan on Sunday en-route to possible Cheltenham Gold Cup glory.

Henry De Bromhead’s star impressed on his first start of the season at Wexford last month when landing a Grade 3.

That was just his fourth start over fences and he is already as low as 8-1 third-favourite for steeplechasing’s ‘Blue Riband’ in March.

The horse that sprang a 50-1 shock when winning the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the 2019 festival is one of just half a dozen entries left in this weekend’s Grade 2 BetVictor Chase.


Milan Native, beaten 25 lengths by Minella Indo at Wexford, may again take on the rising star of the chasing ranks.

So too could Willie Mullins’s Carefully Selected who started odds on for the Kim Muir eventually won by Milan Native at Cheltenham last season.

Minella Indo landed his Beginners Chase at Navan last winter before just failing to Champ in the RSA at Cheltenham in March.

Only Al Boum Photo and Santini, the first and second from last season’s Gold Cup, are ahead of him in Cheltenham betting.

Minella Indo’s stable companion Monalee was fourth in that Gold Cup and will tackle both Kemboy and Presenting Percy in a mouth-watering clash for Thursday’s Boomerang Chase at Thurles.

The Grade 1 trio are among a handful of runners for the Listed contest with Presenting Percy the only one of them with a run under his belt this term.

Gordon Elliott’s new recruit was fourth to stable-companion The Storyteller in Down Royal’s Grade 1 Chase over a fortnight ago.

There is also Grade 2 action at Naas on Saturday where two of last season’s top novices, Allaho and Fakier D’oudairies could return to action on the Poplar Square Chase.

Both horses are 10-1 and 16-1 respectively in some ante-post lists for the King George VI Chase at Kempton over Christmas but are in the running to line up over the minimum two mile trip this weekend.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column