Fergal O’Brien’s Crambo could head straight to the Cheltenham Festival after doing his connections proud in the Long Walk over the festive period.
The seven-year-old claimed Grade One glory at Ascot on December 23 after coming out on top in a titanic tussle with staying stalwart Paisley Park.
The extended three-mile contest was rightly hailed as one of best of the races season so far and victory was particularly meaningful to former jockey Noel Fehily, who bred the winner and is the racing manager to owner Chris Giles.
Fehily also did the early work with Crambo and takes him for pre-training ahead of each season, meaning his involvement with the promising stayer runs even deeper still.
The Saddler Maker gelding is currently a 10-1 chance for the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival in March and may not run again beforehand.
“Crambo is doing well, I’m presuming he’ll go straight to Cheltenham, but I’ve yet to talk to Fergal about it,” Fehily said.
“It was great to see him do that, that was a mighty race between him and Paisley Park – we were very happy with him.
“I bred him and I had the mare, so it’s lovely to see one you’ve known from day one go and win at that level.
“We broke him, pre-trained him, we pre-train him every year before he goes back to Fergal’s.
“He’s an absolute joy to deal with, he’s a dude of a horse. He goes out, does his thing, he’s so straightforward.”