BRIAN ELLISON has confirmed that stable star Definitly Red’s next appearance will be in Aintree’s Many Clouds Chase.
The Malton trainer was at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in America when the nine-year-old won Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase last Saturday.
The first Yorkshire winner of this prestigious race for 31 years, Ellison was pleased with the win – and relieved that the quick ground did not leave its mark.
“He’s come out great, absolutely superb,” he told The Yorkshire Post. “The Many Clouds at Aintree, which he won last year, will be his next run on December 8. I always thought he wanted better ground, but you wouldn’t want to run him on good to firm every time – good to soft is ideal.”
Ellison confirmed that he intends to keep all future options open for the horse, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National possible options depending on the ground. “He wouldn’t go for the Gold Cup again if it was bottomless, like it was earlier this year when he was sixth,” said the trainer.
Yet, while the top dual purpose trainer was equally pleased with The Mackem Bullet’s run at the Breeders’ Cup the previous night when the filly had to contend with a disadvantageous draw on the inner, he does believe Definitly Red – and jockey Danny Cook – have not received sufficient credit for their Charlie Hall win.
Much of the post-race reaction on ITV and in the national media focused on jockey Bryony Frost’s incredible recovery on the Paul Nicholls-trained runner-up Black Corton, but Ellison believes the Phil Martin-owned Definitly Red was a more than worthy winner of the £100,000 race.
“To win any good race means a lot, he said. “It’s hard for a Northern trainer to win the Charlie Hall when we don’t have the horses up here. I know it was only four runners but it rode like a good race. They went a good lick and there was no let up and Definitly Red jumped slickly.
“If the horse was trained by Paul Nicholls, or another trainer like him, they would have been praising the winner. It doesn’t bother me. Not many trainers will have had runners in a Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Perth Cup, Breeders’ Cup, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Grand National, Champion Chase, Gold Cup – and won an Ebor as well.”
Kalashnikov is set to make his eagerly anticipated debut over fences at Warwick. Amy Murphy’s horse enjoyed a fine novice hurdling campaign last season, winning at Wetherby and Doncaster, before being narrowly denied by Summerville Boy in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.