Dysart Enos Poised to Break Trainer Fergal O’Brien’s Cheltenham Duck
Dysart Enos appears to be in prime position to finally secure trainer Fergal O’Brien’s long-awaited first victory at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival. Following her impressive win in the opening race at Prestbury Park on Friday, the Ravenswell Farm handler is optimistic about his chances.
O’Brien has come close to triumphing at this renowned event on several occasions and has a strong record of success at other meetings held at his local track. However, Dysart Enos’ recent performance suggests that she may be the key to breaking their festival drought.
Having previously claimed three bumper wins, including a Grade Two success at Aintree, Dysart Enos showcased her talent once again during her hurdling debut last month in Huntingdon. Despite facing tougher competition against male horses in the British EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle, this promising filly proved more than capable of handling the challenge.
The odds-on favorite justified her status by displaying superior jumping skills compared to her previous outing and demonstrated an exceptional level of stamina throughout the race. As they entered the home straight, Dysart Enos comfortably maintained her lead and crossed the finish line with two and three-quarter lengths ahead of her rivals.
“You might argue that Mary (who finished third) faced stiff competition as she was placed in a Listed race at Newbury,” said O’Brien when addressing critics who downplayed their previous victory. “Dysart did everything expected of her during that Huntingdon race. Bringing her here to Cheltenham was a decision I pondered over, with many questioning its merit. But I wanted her to experience the atmosphere and intensity of this course before the main event in March.”
Paddy Power is now offering Dysart Enos as a joint-favorite at odds of 4-1 (previously 6-1) for the highly anticipated Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival—a race that O’Brien has confirmed as their primary objective.
“Our focus will be on the mares’ novice hurdle, and she may only have one more race prior to that,” O’Brien added. “She possesses remarkable speed—something we’ve never seen before.”