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‘He’s as good as any horse I’ve brought to Cheltenham’ 17/03/08

That was the opinion of trainer Mouse Morris directly after Venalmar’s agonisingly narrow defeat in the G1 Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last Friday.

Clearly holding the first-crop son of Kayf Tara in the highest regard, Morris went on to say: “He might go to Punchestown but he’s 17 hands and crying out for fences. He is going to be a hell of a horse when he goes chasing next season."

The Irish trainer would be as good a judge as any when it comes to pinpointing decent chasing prospects having trained War Of Attrition to win the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup and Buck House, winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1986.

There was some consolation for Britain’s brightest National Hunt stallion prospect, however, when the five-year-old mare Give It Time won a Listed hurdle race at Limerick on 16 March.

Bred by Chippenham Lodge Stud and placed twice on the flat at three when campaigned by James Given, Give It Time was sold for 18,000gns at Tattersalls December Sales in 2006. She has continued her racing career in the colours of John Harrington and is trained by his wife Jessica, who also trains Taravada, a three-time winner also from Kayf Tara’s 2003 crop. Give It Time has now won two and been placed once from her five hurdle starts.

Kayf Tara, sire of Listed-winning three-year-old Ruby Wine, is now responsible for four National Hunt Stakes winners among his 28 individual winners this season, They are the aforementioned Venalmar and Carruthers, both G2-winning hurdlers, Give It Time and eight-length G2 Bumper winner Mad Max.