LOCAL trainer Ryan Potter saw Jetoile come home second in his first ever Grade One race on Saturday.
Although Constitution Hill was a comprehensive 12L winner of the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, Potter said he "couldn’t be happier" with his horse in his first season as a trainer, and is now considering a tilt at the Betfair Hurdle.
Potter had hoped his Jetoile could challenge Nicky Henderson’s charge, but the favourite cantered clear to be promoted to 2-1 top tip for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Henderson described the gelding’s victory as ’staggering’, while jockey Nico de Boinville called the 2-5 favourite ’special’.
However, following low-key wins at Chepstow and Leicester, Potter told Timeform.com he was more than happy with seven-year-old Jetoile’s showing.
"I was delighted with him. The winner is obviously a machine and our horse has run a blinder - I couldn’t be happier.
"It was a great day for the team. We always knew he was good enough to run at that level. We were just hoping Constitution Hill wasn’t as good as everyone said he was, but he definitely was!" added the trainer, who is based at the Caradoc Estate.
"He came out of it absolutely fine. He didn’t actually have a hard race as once Lorcan (Williams, jockey) realised he wasn’t going to win, he’s only hit him once behind the saddle as he had second sewn up quite easily.
"I’m not sure for definite, but I’d imagine we’ll pop an entry in for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
"Novices have a good record in it and we’re probably going to go up in the handicap, so we should get in off a low weight.
"He’ll probably have an entry for Cheltenham, but I’d imagine we’ll avoid that and wait for Aintree."
Potter is already excited to see what Jetoile can achieve next term when he will have his attentions switched to the larger obstacles.
"Anything he achieves this season is a bonus.. he’s a chaser all day long and he’s just proved today he deserves his place with some of the top novice horses this season.
"Lorcan got off him on Saturday and said ’this lad is going to be unbelievable when he goes chasing’ - that will be his game.
"We’re just trying to keep him one piece and keep him in the yard - hopefully nobody tries to buy him!"