Mon Parrain

Age: 6

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Mon Parrain could emerge as the new star at Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat stables in the 2011/2012 season as he looks to build on some encouraging performances from his debut season in the UK.

A classy French recruit, Nicholls sent his five-year-old to Sandown Park for his British debut and he produced a performance full of class and potential as he sauntered home in a handicap chase.  Sent to the front by Ruby Walsh two fences from home, he duly pulled clear of his rivals to annihilate the decent field by a staggering 22 lengths.

His final start last season came over the National fences at Aintree where he was sent off 7/2 favourite for the John Smith's Topham Chase.  Having travelled ominously for much of the race he just emptied out at the business end of the contest and was eventually beaten four lengths by course specialist Always Waining.

He showed enough in that contest to get the bookmakers worried and he is currently trading as ante-post favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham and is sure to be a lively contender if Nicholls elects to go down that path.

With Nicholls able to weave his magic with the youngster he is sure to have improved from the Aintree outing and if he can perform well in the Paddy Power Gold Cup then there could be a new kid on the block in the staying chasing sphere.

If all was to go plan then he could easily be a lively outsider to Long Run's Cheltenham Gold Cup crown and is definitely one to keep on the right side of as the 2011/2012 national hunt season progresses.

Potential Races for 2011/2012 Season

Paddy Power Gold Cup

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Form for 2011/2012 Season

  • 12/11/11 - Paddy Power Gold Cup - Cheltenham (7th of 20 - SP 9/2) - Having been all the rage leadin up to the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Mon Parrain was somewhat of a disappointment as he never really got on terms with the leaders and eventually came home seventh.  Hampered a couple of times during the race, Ruby Walsh was never in the mix and he was well out of the contest turning for home in a disconcerting display from the Ditcheat inmate.
  • 09/12/11 - Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase - Cheltenham (3rd of 6 - SP 2/1 Fav) - Sent off favourite, many had hoped he would storm to victory after his disappointing effort in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, but Mon Parrain struggled to land a blow as he finished third behind Shakalakaboomboom and Knockara Beau in another mediocre display.
  • 09/12/11 - Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase - Newbury (4th of 10 - SP 7/4 Fav) - Another lacklustre performance from Mon Parrain saw him struggle to land a blow in a relatively competitive handicap chase at Newbury.  Struggling to keep up with his rivals in the closing stages, he was comfortably brushed aside by Ikorodu Road, who bagged victory with Nicholls' radier eventually finishing fourth.
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