Gordon Elliott 'Impressed' As 7-1 Arkle Shot Mengli Khan Wins On Chasing Debut
Mengli Khan made a pleasing introduction to life over fences today while claiming a win in a beginners’ chase over two miles at Punchestown.
The Gigginstown-owned five-year-old was sent off an 8-11 favourite and took to his new job with gusto in a performance that has seen his odds cut from 14-1 to 7-1 for the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Gordon Elliott trained the ex-Flat runner, a two-time winner on the level for Hugo Palmer, to third in the Supreme Novices’ there last year, as well as a Grade 1 win in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in December, showed himself to be an exciting prospect over the larger obstacles and seemed to satisfy his handler on the day.
“I thought it was a good performance. When he had something to aim at he winged fences,” he said.
“It’s hard to believe he ran on the Flat as a two-year-old, but he looks to be a chaser with the big bone of him. He took to that well.
“I’d say he’ll go straight to Leopardstown at Christmas now. The scope he showed is what really impressed me.”
Should that go to plan he’ll likely head for the Arkle at the festival in March and currently sits in third in the Ante-post market for that race.
Kayley Woollacott impressive chasing winner Lalor heads the betting and is as short as 4/1, with Amy Murphy’s Kalashnikov - who was one place ahead of Mengli Khan in the Supreme Novices’ last year - next best at a general 5/1.