JP McManus never sleeps and is always ready to get his chequebook out. The 72-year-old Irishman made a few notable purchases just before the Cheltenham Festival and he’s just bought another one. Trained by Willie Mullins, the horse in question has an entry in next month’s Irish Grand National. It’s also worth noting that the horse ran a great trial for the race at Cheltenham last week. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
I Am Maximus is the horse in question and McManus has purchased him privately. He has put in some really solid performances this season and is perhaps a little unlucky to still be a maiden over fences. The way in which he stayed on in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last week was eye-catching indeed. That performance was an excellent trial for a race of this nature.
You can never be certain that a horse will get a certain trip until they do it but the omens look good. The Irish Grand National is run over 3m5f and they tend to go a good gallop. This puts a massive emphasis on stamina and he showed a significant amount of that last time out.
Mullins’ charge was fourth in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Novice Chase on his penultimate start. Mighty Potter was an impressive winner that day but I Am Maximus was only 11 lengths behind him. Recent evidence would suggest that 2m5f is an inadequate trip, which means you can mark up that performance.
It’s hard to say how hard a race he had at Cheltenham last time but there’s almost four weeks between the two races this year. This would certainly be a thrilling way to shed your maiden tag over fences and he looks like a fascinating contender.
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