McConnell backing Mahler Mission to bounce back

John McConnell is looking forward to Mahler Mission’s “day in the sun” after his late fall at the Cheltenham Festival.

The seven-year-old was a well-fancied 13-2 chance for the National Hunt Chase and ran prominently under Johnny Barry before pulling clear of the field four fences from home.

He was travelling along with a four-length lead on his rivals when approaching the second fence from home, an obstacle at which he fell upon landing.

McConnell reports the horse to be well following the tumble, with his Irish Grand National entry now under consideration alongside other staying targets at the latter end of the season.

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Mahler Mission during his hurdling career
Mahler Mission during his hurdling career (Tim Goode/PA)

He said: “He was quite stiff after the race. Understandably he was a little bit slow up, but he’ll be fine.

“We’ll just wait until he comes back to himself and then we’ll see. He’s in the Irish National and we’ll probably enter him in a couple of other big chases at the end of the year and we’ll pick one of those.

“He’s a horse that just gives everything, it’s always horrible when they have a fall.

“The main emotion was just relief that he was all right, that was the key thing, then the disappointment came after that.

“He should have a day in the sun in the future.”

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