Caldwell Potter: A New Contender for Cheltenham Festival Glory?

 A historic moment occurred this week at Tattersalls Ireland when Caldwell Potter set a new world record by selling for a staggering sum of £632,000. This is the highest amount ever paid for a National Hunt horse at a public auction. 

Caldwell Potter, the Record Breaker

The Tattersalls Ireland Andy and Gemma Brown Dispersal Sale included the Grade One champion and prominent contender for the Cheltenham Festival. Andy and Gemma have just made the decision to sell their whole collection of horses, all of which have been undergoing training under the supervision of Gordon Elliott since they chose to discontinue their involvement in the sport.

The auction was notable and uncommon since it included 29 lots sold without minimum price requirements. The session turnover of €5,290,000 set a new record for the most money exchanged during a one-day boutique National Hunt Sale. The mean price for the session amounted to €182,414, with four equines being sold for a sum exceeding €500,000 and ten horses fetching €200,000 or more.

Despite his strong desire to bring Caldwell Potter back to his Cullentra House Stables, Gordon Elliott was outbid by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock. Ultimately, John Hales, Ged Mason, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Peter Done secured the talented six-year-old horse, whom Paul Nicholls will now train.

The new owners of Caldwell Potter may anticipate the opportunity to race one of the most promising young jumpers and one with an exceptional pedigree.

Caldwell Potter, bred by Francois-Marie Cottin in France, is the offspring of the exceptional broodmare Matnie, making him her fourth foal. This establishes him as a sibling to other accomplished horses such as French Dynamite, Indiana Jones, and the unfortunate Mighty Potter, all of whom have achieved black-type status.

Brighterdaysahead, his younger half-sister, has achieved an undefeated record in four races under the guidance of Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud. The most recent of those triumphs was in the Grade 3 Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle.

Under the Guidance of Paul Nicholls

In his ceaseless pursuit of success since his arrival in October 1991 with eight horses and an exceptionally optimistic outlook, Paul has significantly transformed the landscape of jump racing. His initial victory at Hereford, a few days before Christmas 1991, with Olveston, which his mother also owned, was followed by more than 3,600 successes. Boxing Day’s double at Newton Abbot provided additional confirmation that the youthful trainer was progressing in the right direction; he concluded his inaugural season with ten victories.

Paul has recently implemented a successful strategy of acquiring well-bred young horses at sales each year. He has high expectations and confidence that these horses, along with others he purchases, may become future stars after demonstrating impressive performance in bumpers and Point-to-Points.

His brigade of three and four-year-olds now boasts the record-breaking purchase of Caldwell Potter, who’s unquestionably in the right hands with the potential to become a future legend. 

Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Test 

The last public sighting of the impressive grey racehorse, Caldwell Potter, was during his victorious performance in the prestigious Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27th.

Following his impressive victory by a margin of six and a half lengths against Predators Gold, he is now priced at odds as low as 10-1 for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, which marks the beginning of the Cheltenham Festival. Additionally, he is now priced as low as 9-1 for the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle alongside the most valuable Cheltenham betting offers for 2024

Cheltenham would be the ultimate test; however, we mustn’t jump the gun because Caldwell Potter’s involvement at the prestigious event is very much up in the air. 

Nicholls said this horse isn’t prioritised by the greatest week of racing in the year and disclosed his satisfaction with acquiring Caldwell Potter. He also told Sun Racing that Cheltenham’s participation isn’t a priority.

He has been purchased as a chaser for next season,” Nicholls commented. “He has got to acclimatise and get used to our system one way or another. The aim for him is to go novice chasing in October, but whether we run him once before then, we will see

However, we have not had those discussions yet, and Cheltenham is not high on the priority list.”  

The Future of Caldwell Potter 

Caldwell Potter is a horse worth scoping. Following Monday’s dispersal sale in Ireland, it isn’t easy to ascertain his current status. Nobody is looking at him, but he is a respectable price at Cheltenham, and you must keep in mind that he rocketed up in Grade 1 company before Predators Gold at Christmas. 

His pedigree is impeccable, and he possesses every quality necessary to succeed at the Baring Bingham. However, before backing him at the excellent prices available, ensure your wager has some form of insurance because his run at Cheltenham isn’t guaranteed. 

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is not his participation at Cheltenham but the future success he could have under Nicholls. As the famed British racing champion highlighted, Potter will chase novice races, stack his resume, and build confidence under a new system moving forward. Cheltenham 2024 or not, should everything go to plan over the next twelve months, don’t be surprised if this horse takes all the flowers in the Cotswolds in 2025.

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