Trainer Paul Nicholls compares Bravemansgame to former great Denman after easy win at the MansionBet Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury
- Bravemansgame won the MansionBet Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury
- Several good horses have won the Grade One – including the likes of Denman
- Both Bravemansgame and Denman were trained by 58-year-old Paul Nicholls
Bravemansgame had trainer Paul Nicholls making favourable comparisons with the great Denman after he galloped his rivals into the ground to land the Grade One MansionBet Challow Hurdle at Newbury.
The 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner served up the last Nicholls-trained winner of the Challow Hurdle in the 2005-06 season.
Subsequently, Denman was beaten two-and-a-half lengths by Nicanor in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Bravemansgame (above) won the Grade One MansionBet Challow Hurdle at Newbury
That race will be Bravemansgame’s target and he is now disputing favouritism at around 6-1 with Willie Mullins-trained Appreciate It, last season’s Festival Champion Bumper runner-up who won the Grade One two-mile hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. Nicholls said: ‘He’s the closest thing I’ve had to Denman.
‘He’s the same type, a big scopey horse who will make a chaser and he probably has a bit more boot than Denman had.
‘He’s a hard act to follow but this one is going the right way. Denman was a superstar but at the same stage of his career Bravemansgame is heading that way.’
Tuesday’s win was ground out with a display of relentless galloping from the front under Harry Cobden.
Trainer Paul Nicholls (above) was making favourable comparisons with the great Denman
Harry Cobden was keen to make it a real test from the outset with relentless galloping
Does He Know, who had been a handful in the paddock, dumped David Bass when he ran out and crashed through the rail five out.
Although both runner-up Star Gate, a Grade Two novice hurdle winner at Sandown earlier this month, and third-placed The Glancing Queen both closed up going well, they were burnt off as 5-2 joint favourite Bravemansgame won by 10 lengths.
Cobden was impressed, immediately nominating the gelding, who cost £370,000 and is owned in partnership by John Dance and Bryan Drew, as his best chance of a Cheltenham Festival winner.
The jockey added: ‘He’s definitely the best novice we’ve got. He is straightforward and does everything right. He makes my job very easy.’
Having earlier been successful with Good Ball and Calva D’Auge, Bravemansgame provided Nicholls with his 99th winner of the season. He has five runners at Taunton today and one at Warwick tomorrow as he tries to hit the century before the turn of the year for only the second time in his training career.