Cobden coy on McFabulous end game

Jockey Harry Cobden is confident McFabulous would handle a step up in trip for the Stayers’ Hurdle but is unsure if Cheltenham is the right track for him.

Cobden was on board for McFabulous’ second Grade 2 success of the season as he overcame a far from perfect ride from the 22-year-old to justify being sent off the odds-on favourite for Saturday’s Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton.

The jockey admitted the natural talent of the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old had saved his blushes having taken the final bend four horses wide, eventually edging out On The Blind Side by two-and-three-quarter lengths to land the spoils.

McFabulous’ odds for the Stayers’ Hurdle at March’s Cheltenham Festival were subsequently cut to 12/1, although doubts remain over his stamina, having faded when up against Stayers’ rivals Thyme Hill and Paisley Park when finishing third in November’s Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

However, Cobden is convinced he will stay the course, although he admits that he might struggle to get the best out of McFabulous at Prestbury Park, believing he could ultimately prove to be better suited to Aintree.

“I’m sure he stays three miles ? I was flat out more of the way here,” Cobden said. “The main thing today is he’s not had a hard race, I’ve not gone for him and I’ve tried to save as much [as possible] for the next day.

“The race at Newbury was a tricky one and I’m still scratching my head about it now. Maybe he’s just got one decent run in him and if we’re going to run in the Stayers’ Hurdle we’d maybe try to cover him up and come with one run.”

He added: “A flat track would probably suit him. I wouldn’t say he couldn’t go to Cheltenham.”

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