Bravemansgame signaled himself out as a horse that could be set to play a big role on the National Hunt scene in the coming years with an authoritative success in the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side on Football Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury on Friday.
A Lingstown four-year-old maiden winner on debut for Donnchadh Doyle last year after which he was sold for £370,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale, the French-bred gelding entered this race having already easily won over hurdles by 11 lengths.
Sent off as the well-supported 8/11 favourite, Harry Cobden sat on the heels of the leader throughout before travelling powerfully through to lead early in the home straight.
From that point the five-year-old swiftly assumed command to win as he pleased in the colours of owners John Dance and Bryan Drew, beating another four-year-old maiden winner, Es Perfecto, in the process.
“He has improved again and is a proper horse. He will go down the Denman route and aim for the Challow Hurdle (Grade 1),” said winning trainer Paul Nicholls.
“He did win a point-to-point as a four-year-old, that was a long time ago. He is buying time this year but what an awesome chaser he will be in 12 months’ time.
“He has chaser written all over him, so a very exciting horse.”
Of the possibility of going to the Cheltenham Festival with him this season, Nicholls added: “If he won the Challow, you would have to wouldn’t you, it’s a Grade 1 and 2m 5f should suit him very well.
“It’s not the be all and end all obviously there are some nice races and as I said I’d be more excited about him going novice chasing next autumn then going to Cheltenham at this stage of his career, but we will see that is a long way off.”