Big Blue on mission to conquer Cheltenham jumps festival
IN A reversal of trends, potential top jumper Big Blue will return to the northern hemisphere to target the world-famous Cheltenham jumps festival in March.
David Eustace said his co-trainer, Ciaron Maher, had been to the past two Cheltenham Festivals and thought Big Blue was the ideal horse to take there for the four-day festival, which starts on March 10.
"Ciaron's got a passion for the meeting and he's been looking for the right horse to take there," Eustace said.
Big Blue will head to England on Wednesday and be based at Phillip Mitchell's stables at Epsom Downs. Stable employee Sarah Webster will accompany Big Blue on the trip.
Maher said initially Big Blue would have to run at weight-for-age level as he needed to get a mark before he was able to run in handicap races.
Big Blue is raced by leading Warrnambool owner Colin McKenna.
The former French galloper has had four jumps starts for three wins and a second.
His last jumps start was a win at Warrnambool. At his last run on the flat, he finished third at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day over 2800m.
"It will be fascinating to see how we go," Eustace told AAP.