In recent years we have seen Australian runners take their place in high profile festivals such as Royal Ascot and now we will see a couple of talented National Hunt performers run at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival. Gorge and Onajet prepare to become the first Australian-trained runners at the Cheltenham Festival. Both horses arrived in Britain on Friday February 5 and are settling in to their new surroundings at Mark Johnston ’s stables in North Yorkshire , where their trainer Cosgriff was a vet for four years prior to setting up as a trainer in his homeland in 2005.
Talented dual-code performer Gorge notched his third victory on the Flat when producing a storming late run to take a 12-furlong handicap at Hanging Rock on New Year’s Day. The eight-year-old gelding comfortably landed a two-mile maiden hurdle at Warrnambool in April and was fourth in one of Australia ’s premier jump races, the Grand National Hurdle at Sandown , Victoria , in August. He is being aimed at the three-mile £100,000 Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 19.
Onajet, a maiden winner on the Flat at Mornington, Victoria, in June, 2008, has made the frame on seven of his 17 starts over hurdles, and the giant eight-year-old is being considered for the £100,000 Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, run over two miles and five furlongs on St Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17.