Make Good appears to have booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival after claiming a Grade Two victory at Prestbury Park.
A runaway winner of a two-mile novice handicap hurdle at Gowran Park on his previous start, John McConnell’s charge faced a significant step up in class and distance for Saturday’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
However, he proved his stamina for the three-mile trip with a seven-length success under Richard Johnson – and the Albert Bartlett in March is likely to be top of his agenda.
McConnell said: “We were thrilled with him. On ratings he had a chance and he’s really a two-mile Flat horse, so we were hopeful he’d stay three miles over hurdles and maybe even improve for it. It looked like that was the case on Saturday.
“He’s always been a little bit underrated, by us and everyone, because he’s not the biggest horse and looks more like a Flat horse in terms of physique, but he’s got a big set of lungs and a big heart – and that counts for a lot.
“He’s fully entitled to go for the Albert Bartlett at the Festival, and there’s a very good chance he will. I don’t know what route we’ll take along the way. Whether we put him away and just have one race beforehand, or whether we’ll try and cherry pick a few races, we’ll see.
“He likes to be busy, so he might even turn up somewhere at Christmas here in Ireland. All options are open to us.”
Make Good could well be joined in the Albert Bartlett by stable companion Streets Of Doyen, who has not been seen in competitive action since completing a four-timer at Cheltenham in October.
Having also landed last Friday’s cross-country race with Some Neck, McConnell has saddled three winners from just four runners at Cheltenham this season.
Of Streets Of Doyen, he added: “He had a break because he had four wins in five weeks. We’re about to bring him in and start riding him again, and he doesn’t take that long to get fit.
“He might be Albert Bartlett-bound as well. He probably likes better ground than Make Good – the ground he won on in Cheltenham last time would be as soft as he’d want it.
“The Albert Bartlett is open to him – or if he doesn’t run there, there’s Aintree and the other spring Festivals.”