Jefferson team sweet on Pertemps Final at Cheltenham for Black Ivory

Sun 14 Jan 2018

The Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival is the aim for Black Ivory - if he creeps into the race.

Malcolm Jefferson's six-year-old followed up a victory at Aintree last month when he defeated Sykes by over a length in a Pertemps qualifier at Warwick on Saturday.

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Black Ivory will still need a substantial rise from the handicapper if he is to emulate the Jefferson-trained Cape Tribulation, who won the Final in 2012.

Ruth Jefferson, the North Yorkshire handler's daughter and assistant, said: "We will give an entry in the Pertemps. Last year you needed to be 137 to get in it. He will have to go up to get in it, but we would love to run him in it.

"He has a high cruising speed, but just lacks a gear. He will make a lovely chaser. I would love to get him to Cheltenham over hurdles before that if I can this season.

"He will probably go to Haydock for their Pertemps qualifier as it comes with a nice gap between now and Cheltenham. If he gets in, we will be there. If he doesn't, at least we know we have tried.

"If not we will look at one of the handicaps at Aintree or something."

Mine Now is set to head straight for the Pertemps Final after his win in a qualifier at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The Heron Island gelding hung on in a thrilling finish at the Dublin track and trainer Peter Fahey is keen to give him a go at the big Festival prize.

The 10-year-old has proven a terrific servant for connections, and Fahey felt he was gaining due reward last time after a narrow miss in a 100,000 euro contest at Galway last summer.

"We gave him a little break after he ran and it's more than likely his next run will be in the Pertemps at Cheltenham," said Fahey.

"He's best fresh, so we're going to give him a bit of time and go over for a pop at that and see what happens.

"He deserved it last time and you couldn't take it from him as he was unlucky in Galway.

"He's gone up a good bit in the weights and he'll definitely find it hard now, but he's fresh and well and qualified for it so we'll take our chance over in Cheltenham.

"Ground isn't really a factor with him at all. He would probably like a little bit of nice ground over three miles."

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