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Mad Max makes winning hurdles debut 24/11/08

He’s already one of the most talked about horses so far this jumps season and Mad Max gave his growing number of fans not one moment of concern throughout a very promising first run over hurdles at Ascot under Barry Geraghty on Friday, 21 November.

A Grade Two bumper winner last season, the statuesque Kayf Tara gelding is now unbeaten in three starts. Much has been made of his size – he stands at 18hh – but the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old is appeared to be incredibly nimble when posting a faultless round of jumping in the Nicholas Cunningham Memorial Novices’ Hurdle.

Also in action at Ascot was Space Mission, who finished third to Massini’s Maguire on his second outing over fences, having been runner-up in a Beginners’ Chase at Ludlow in October.  Also six and from Kayf Tara’s first crop, Space Mission won over hurdles at Huntingdon in January. Like his paternal half-sister Ragdollianna, a three-time winner in bumpers and on the flat, Space Mission is out of a Jupiter Island mare and cost €70,000 as a foal.

Recent bumper winner Like Minded went through the ring last Friday at Cheltenham’s Stars of the Future Sale. Sold by trainer Don Cantillon, who also won a point-to-point with the four-year-old gelding, he fetched £100,000 and was bought by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock. One lot later came another point-to-point winner, Ballyoliver, who was born just three weeks after Like Minded. He was knocked down to Aiden Murphy for £85,000