Breisner is no stranger to straightening out wayward jump horses, and back in 1995 trainer Kim Bailey credited him with a major part in the success of Alderbrook and Master Oats when they were victorious in the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. Last year he was working with Nicky Henderson and Long Run in the run-up to the Festival.
Hobbs said yesterday, “We decided to send the horses to Yogi Breisner mainly because things have not gone that well and with the Festival only a matter of weeks away time was getting very tight. Captain Chris has always jumped to the right even over hurdles and he did the same at Cheltenham the other day after landing on top of the fence at a very early stage before being eventually pulled up by Richard (Johnson). After talking it over with Yogi and Richard we think it is a confidence issue with the horse and hopefully the trip to Yogi’s will have sorted that out, but we will not know until we school at home.”
The race at Cheltenham Hobbs is referring to was the Argento Chase on trials day at the end of January, and of course a tendency to jump to the right is a particular disadvantage on a left-handed circuit like Cheltenham.
Menorah has had three runs this season. Although he won at both Taunton and Kempton his jumping there was far from flawless, and it caught him out when he fell at Doncaster a fortnight ago.
Hobbs said, “Menorah is rather different to Captain Chris and in Yogi’s opinion he has just been rather unlucky. He seems to jump 90% of his fences fine, but it is the other 10% that are the problem as he showed when winning at Taunton and Kempton, as it was only the odd mistake at both courses. We have got to hope that Yogi is right as he has always schooled really well at home.”
Those jumping worries are reflected in the prices available for the two Hobbs horses. Captain Chris can be backed at 33/1 for the Gold Cup, whilst Menorah is on offer at 12/1 for the Arkle.