Mahler Mission camp upbeat ahead of Coral Gold Cup

Irish raider has been backed into favouritism for Saturday’s Newbury showpiece.

John McConnell’s Mahler Mission is reported in fine spirits for the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday and is the current favourite with the sponsors.

The seven-year-old made a pleasing return to action in the Colin Parker earlier in the month, finishing second over a trip bound to be insufficient for a proven stayer.

Crucially, his jumping was sound throughout the race, a reassuring sight after he fell two from home on his final start of last season when leading the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

McConnell reports the gelding to have fared well since his Carlisle run and, all being well, expects him to take up his engagement at Newbury – where he is currently the 7-1 favourite with sponsors Coral.

“He came out of Carlisle fine, we were delighted with the run there and this was always the next step for him,” he said.

“It’s just the final checks we’ve got to do, we’ll run a scope on him and if that’s all OK, then we’ll be there.”

Coral’s David Stevens commented: “This year’s Coral Gold Cup betting remains wide open, although punters have at least found a clear favourite for now, with the Irish raider Mahler Mission now a point shorter than Complete Unknown.”

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