Midnight Chase fine after fall
No firm plans for Mulholland ace
Last Updated: 06/11/11 1:23pm
Midnight Chase has emerged from his Down Royal fall unscathed and trainer Neil Mulholland was pleased with the horse's seasonal return.
The nine-year-old won three fiercely competitive Cheltenham handicap chases last season and signed off for the season with a creditable fifth in the Gold Cup.
He was well beaten on his comeback run in the JNWine.com Champion Chase when coming to grief two fences from home, but Mulholland believes there is still plenty to look forward to.
"We're just on our way home and we'll have a proper look at him when we get back, but he seemed fine after the race," said the trainer.
"It was a heavy enough fall and I'm sure he'll be a bit stiff, but hopefully he's all right.
"I was happy with how he ran. It was his first run of the season in a Grade One race.
"He was probably going to finish fourth in what was a good race. Quito De La Roque had already won a Grade One, Sizing Europe is top-class and Paul Nicholls thinks a lot of his horse that finished third (The Nightingale).
"The ground was well against us as we know our horse is much better on better ground and he's probably also a better horse going left-handed, as he was just jumping away to his left yesterday.
"He was still there at the second last, he wasn't a furlong behind or anything, he was still on premises, so I'm happy. He should improve a lot for the run.
"We haven't been shouting from the rooftops that he's a Grade One horse. He was a very good handicapper and now we're stepping up.
"I think he's showed he can be placed in these races and fingers crossed somewhere along the line he can pick one up.
"We'll see how he is in the next few days before we make any plans, but we'll definitely be looking for better ground."