Joseph O’Brien is confident Busselton can build on his victory in the Kerry National when he lines up in the Coral Gold Cup on Saturday week, November 26.
Having been steadily stepped up in distance by his Owning Hill handler, the five-year-old thrived for his first try at three miles at Listowel in September, staying on gamely to take advantage of the final fence unseat of Hewick.
Now he is set to be one of a maximum of three Irish raiders who will head to Newbury in search of the £142,375 first prize later this month, with O’Brien believing both the make-up of the track and the race will play to the strengths of his four-time fences winner.
He said: “For sure it was a career best last time and we think this race will suit him well.
“Big fields suit him fine and he’s a consistent, hardy horse. The track will suit him well, and we are hoping for a good run.”
O’Brien has already tasted notable success on British shores this season when Banbridge ran out an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The Cheltenham Festival winner pulled six-lengths clear of runner-up Tommy’s Oscar and O’Brien is full of praise for the Ronnie Bartlett-owned six-year-old.
He continued: “We were really pleased with the performance, and it was a lovely round of jumping.
“It looked a hot race on paper, and he is an exciting horse for the future. I am delighted to have a horse like that for Ronnie.”