Ivanovich Gorbatov, winner of the 2016 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, will be the leading light for Joseph O’Brien as the former jockey heads into his first official season as a Nation Hunt Racing trainer.
The son of legendary Irish-trainer Aidan O’Brien, was a world-class flat jockey winning Group One events all over the world – but has decided to turn his hand to training.
The 23-year-old was granted his licence in June, however he was credited with the training of Ivanovich Gorbatov by his father after the juvenile’s success at the Festival. Later in the season the JP McManus four-year-old proved no match for Apple’s Jade who produced mesmerising performances at Aintree & Punchestown.
Despite those two losses, he remains an extremely talented performer and will be involved in all of the season’s major events.
O’Brien said: “He had a good break over the summer and is on his way back. I’ll be looking to get him back to the track at this side of Christmas and he’ll run in all the top races.
“Like any good juvenile hurdler coming into open company, he probably has a stone or more to find on the best hurdlers, but we’ll give him his chance to do it.”
Fox Norton and Shantou Village set for Cheltenham Showcase Meeting
Fox Norton, who finished third to Douvan in the Racing Post Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival, will make his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting on Saturday afternoon.
The Neil Mulholland-trained chaser enjoyed a fine season as a novice, finishing behind Douvan at Cheltenham and Aintree, before returning to Prestbury Park to take a novice event.
Now the six-year-old is ready for a return to action, with Mulholland targeting the Randox Health Handicap Chase on the second afternoon of the two day event.
Mulholland said, “He likes Cheltenham. He ran great round there last year. He’s done well over the summer, he’s fit and ready to go.”
Another Mulholland runner will be one of last season’s smartest novice hurdlers, Shantou Village, who will make his second start over fences in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices’ Chase.
The six-year-old scored in a Grade Two event at the Cheltenham Open Meeting, before finishing runner-up to Yanworth on Festival Trials Day. His season ended in disappointing fashion as he pulled-up in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day.
But after making a perfect start to life over the larger obstacles, his trainer is ready to unleash his charge in the two-and-a-half-mile event on Saturday, saying: “He’s had one run recently and we’ve been happy with him. He’s in good form.”
Cheltenham Racecourse Corporate Hospitality Packages on Sale
Eventmasters are delighted to provide official corporate hospitality packages for all meetings at Cheltenham Racecourse during the 2016/17 National Hunt Season.
We can offer a Private Grandstand Box for The Open Meeting, International Meeting and Festival Trials Day. At the Cheltenham Festival 2017 we can offer a wide-range of facilities across all four days including Silks@Frontrunners, The Venue and our Private Box.
Please follow the links provided for more information.