Delta trainer Mangan philosophical after defeat
Updated: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 16:04
Trainer Jimmy Mangan is keen to move on from the unfortunate incident that saw Oscar Delta so heartbreakingly denied victory in last week's CGA Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Third in the race for the previous two years, the 10-year-old looked set to take the glory when jumping the final fence with a clear lead over reigning champion Salsify.
However, soon after setting off up the punishing hill, Oscar Delta jinked sharply to his left as though intent on going out for another circuit, unshipping the trainer's daughter Jane in the process.
The rider was unsurprisingly devastated in the immediate aftermath, but Mangan senior feels the injury suffered by fellow amateur jockey JT McNamara a day earlier puts things into perspective.
Mangan said: "The horse has come home 100% and Jane didn't get hurt, so it's not the end of the world.
"When you think about what happened to poor JT, our little problems are nothing.
"I've never had so many phone calls and letters over the past week. Even this morning there were letters from people from all over England and even a letter from America.
"I think everyone just felt very sorry for Jane more than anything.
"What happened shouldn't have happened - the groundsman made a mistake with where he tied up the tape and the horse jinked - but there's nothing we can do about it now and we'll get over it.
"Jane gave the horse the perfect ride. She hasn't actually ridden a winner of a chase yet, so to do that at the Cheltenham Festival would have been fantastic.
"She nearly did it, unfortunately it wasn't to be, but she's young and gets a lot of support from the likes of Gigginstown (owners), so hopefully she'll get another opportunity and get that Cheltenham win one day."
Meanwhile, ground conditions are likely to play a big part in whether Oscar Delta runs again this season.
Mangan said: "The owner was naturally very disappointed and I haven't had chance to discuss a plan with her as yet.
"When the rain came at Cheltenham on Friday morning, I knew he'd run well, as he gallops all day on that softer ground. That is the key to him.
"On faster ground, Salsify has too much toe for our horse, but softer ground gives him a bit of a chance.
"We'll see how the horse is and what the ground is like over the next few weeks, but the options for him are Fairyhouse and Punchestown.
"I'll only run him if I think he's got a serious chance."