Mighty performance for Daly's man

A few outings over fences were originally designed as a way for Henry Daly to get Mighty Man fit to challenge for a third Liverpool Hurdle, but his nimble round of jumping at Huntingdon on Wednesday suggested he may even have found his true calling.

A few outings over fences were originally designed as a way for Henry Daly to get Mighty Man fit to challenge for a third Liverpool Hurdle, but his nimble round of jumping at Huntingdon on Wednesday suggested he may even have found his true calling.

Mighty Man needed to have stem cell therapy after a serious injury at Punchestown in 2007 and his plucky return to the racecourse has won him plenty of new fans.

What the gelding lacks in size he compensates for in athleticism and after opening his account at Hereford in December, this was an even more accomplished performance as he defeated the well-liked Sullumo by eight lengths in the Huntingdon Novices' Chase.

Daly said: "He has never been a typical horse to go novice chasing but he has always jumped very well and it is really nice to see him do it out there.

"He will probably have one more run over fences now and then go for the RSA Chase.

"The ground was against him and this wasn't the plan at all, we'd originally hoped to go to Warwick two weeks ago."

The 8-13 favourite here, Mighty Man is 16-1 with Sky Bet and 14s with Paddy Power for the Cheltenham staying prize.

Daly and Richard Johnson doubled up with Cobbler's Queen (5-1 joint-favourite), who helped owner Alex Timpson achieve a one-two by beating Key Cutter in the Turftv Handicap Hurdle.

"She wants better ground and the plan will be the mares' final at Newbury," added the Shropshire trainer.

The ultimate target for Mille Chief has never been in doubt and the Triumph Hurdle favourite reassured his supporters as to his well-being with not much more than an exercise gallop in division two of the Huntingdon Racecourse For Outdoor Events Novices' Hurdle.

Trainer Alan King has already won the four-year-old championship on two occasions and has made it clear Mille Chief is the leading candidate this season.

Owned by Max McNeill, whose Walkon was second to Zaynar in last year's Triumph, the latest contender's reputation outranks his racecourse achievements so far but there was nothing to quibble with here.

King's assistant Noel Williams said of the 2-9 favourite: "We have probably not learned an awful lot more about him but it will have given him a lot more experience and he settled a lot better.

"I think the plan is to go onto the Adonis at Kempton now and then for the Triumph."

McNeill confirmed: "That was perfect and all roads lead to Kempton.

"He's a different horse to Walkon. Walkon was a lot leggier and will jump a fence one day I'm sure.

"This one has looked the part from day one. Of course it's early days, as he hasn't achieved what Walkon did just yet."

Mille Chief was ridden by Wayne Hutchinson with Robert Thornton currently on the sidelines.

Cheshire Prince (4-1) is another who could be involved at the big spring meetings as he made it two from three over hurdles in division one of Mille Chief's race.

Trainer Neil King revealed: "I'm over the moon with that as he wants the ground quicker.

"He was bought as a Cheltenham prospect and he might just have earned his ticket.

"It might be for one of the handicaps like the County. We'd love to go there, although I think Aintree would suit him even better."

Alex Hales claimed his fourth winner in the last fortnight in the Racing UK Novices' Handicap Chase.

The price of 16-1 reflected Roseneath's poor recent performances but the combination of moderate opposition and a fine waiting ride from Noel Fehily gave him the edge.

Hales moved stables in the summer and believes he has finally got the hang of his surroundings.

There was not such luck for Joshua Moore, who fell from Ouragan Lagrange.

Clerk of the course Andrew Morris said: "He was fully conscious but has been taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital for further examination."

The Sponsor At Huntingdon Handicap Chase saw I'moncloudnine (9-2) grab victory from the jaws of 5-2 favourite Ultimate Limit with the Brampton "National Hunt" Novices' Handicap Hurdle, completed in near-darkness, going to Vivarini (9-2).

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox