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A trip to Britain for Kempton's Christmas feature is on the cards for Mount Benbulben

Updated: Sunday, 28 Apr 2013 15:07 | Comments

Kempton's right-handed course should suit Mount Benbulben.
Kempton's right-handed course should suit Mount Benbulben.

Barry Connell is eyeing a tilt at the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton for Mount Benbulben following his Punchestown Festival triumph.

Gordon Elliott's eight-year-old has always had plenty of talent, but jumping issues have checked his progress during his first season over fences.

However, he got his act together to run out a hugely impressive 22-length winner of the Grade One Growise Champion Novice Chase and his owner is hopeful he can go onto secure more top-level prizes, with Kempton's Boxing Day highlight very much on the radar.

Connell said: "He'd done plenty of schooling and I think the key is to get him into a rhythm. He jumped very well the other day, I don't think he made a mistake.

"The step up to three miles probably helped him as well and he's always been a horse with a lot of potential. He just never got to show it in his early races over fences.

"I think he's definitely better going right-handed so we'll stick to going that way round.

"He went up 13lb the other day, which leaves him on 160 and I think that makes him the highest-rated novice chaser in Ireland.

"You would like to think he could develop into a King George horse and there are plenty of other races going right-handed for him early in the season.

"There is the race in Down Royal (Jnwine.com Champion Chase) and there is also a conditions race at Ascot.

"At the end of next season, you could see him hopefully running in the Punchestown Gold Cup. Sir Des Champs won the novice race Mount Benbulben won last year before winning this year's Gold Cup.

"He handles soft ground, he stays, he has class and a high cruising speed.

"I hope there's a lot to look forward to."

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