Mahler Mission wins at Doncaster
Mahler Mission wins at Doncaster

Mahler Mission aimed at Cheltenham Festival after Navan win

John McConnell’s Mahler Mission has the Cheltenham Festival in his sights after an impressive Navan success.

The seven-year-old was a high-quality hurdler and made the transition to chasing this season, starting off at Cheltenham before finishing third in a Punchestown contest on New Year’s Eve.

At Navan on Saturday he lined up for a three-mile beginners’ chase and demonstrated his potential when jumping fluently and sauntering to an unchallenged 10-length victory under Ben Harvey.

“We were delighted but we weren’t surprised. We thought he’d come forward from his run at Punchestown last time and we rode him a bit more confidently this time and it paid off,” said McConnell.

Sky Bet's new customer offer

“I suppose it was only a beginners’ chase at the end of the day, so we can’t get too excited or carried away, but it was a good performance.He jumped very well, he picked up from the back of the third last and he won well. He didn’t have a hard race and we were really happy with him.”

The National Hunt Chase, a three-mile-six-furlong affair at the Cheltenham Festival in March, is the likely target now, with McConnell undecided as to whether the gelding will have another outing in the meantime.

“I would say we’ll go for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, I think he’s entitled to go,” he said. “I don’t know what mark he’s got yet in the UK, but I’m sure it’ll be high enough. Whether he’ll have a run beforehand, I’m not sure, I’d say that’s it’s probably less than a 50 per cent chance.

“He stays very well, the trip won’t be an issue at all. He jumps well, he’s jumped around Cheltenham before so that box is ticked there. He could go for a Grade Two in a couple of weeks here but we’ll see, we’ll bask in the victory a bit longer!”

More from Sporting Life

Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

Further support and information can be found at and

Like what you've read?

Next Off

Sporting Life
My Stable
Follow and track your favourite Horses, Jockeys and Trainers. Never miss a race with automated alerts.
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Click HERE for more information

Most Followed