Harry Cobden reports Aintree bumper winner McFabulous is looking “a million dollars” as he prepares for his hurdles debut.
The Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old made it three wins from four starts last season when completing the campaign with victory in the Grade Two contest on Merseyside.
Although McFabulous is yet to jump a hurdle in public, he is already a general 25-1 chance for both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Stable jockey Cobden said: “I’m looking forward to sitting back on McFabulous. He worked really well the other day – he looks a million dollars.
“He is a real good galloper that should do well this season over hurdles, because he has jumped them well at home.”
While a date is still to be set for McFabulous’ return to action, Cobden has been encouraged already by stablemate Enrilo’s winning debut over hurdles at Wincanton this month.
Cobden added: “I was very impressed by Enrilo at Wincanton.
“He looked a bit laboured down the back, but it was nice to see the horse settle because he was a bit keen last season.
“He jumped really well throughout and saw it out well. It was nice display.”
Getaway Trump had to settle for third behind last season’s Betfair Hurdle winner Al Dancer on his debut over fences at Cheltenham on Friday, but Cobden expects the six-year-old to take a big step forward next time out.
He said: “I loved the way he jumped around Cheltenham on Friday. He will improve a lot for that.
“Turning in, I was thinking ‘how far am I going to win by’ – but he just got into the bottom of two out. He had a good blow (afterwards), and he will come on a huge amount.
“The way he jumped, you wouldn’t have thought it was his first time over fences. It was a solid performance.”