Robbie Power believes star juvenile Duffle Coat is a horse with the world at his feet after an attention-grabbing display at Cheltenham, writes James Toney.
Just 24 hours after he was forced to pull up two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, Power produced a perfectly patient ride to power the rising star to victory in the JCB Triumph Trial Hurdle.
Elliott has big plans for Duffle Coat, who is now unbeaten in four starts since making his track debut at Punchestown in September.
Power kept his charge rooted to the back of the field throughout and cresting the top of Cheltenham's famous hill, he had his charge dead flat last of eight.
But the manner in which he picked up the pace will certainly appeal to a growing legion of fans, with the horse second to only stable mate Quilixios in the betting for March's Triumph Hurdle.
“Duffle Coat stays well and when his juvenile days are over, I think he will be stepping up in trip," said Power, who'll be dreaming of a return with the horse at next year's Festival.
“I was flat to the boards the whole way, but to be fair to my lad he was tenacious. When we got to the top of the hill, I gave him a squeeze and I wasn’t overly concerned.
“It is really soft ground, but stamina is Duffle Coat’s forte. Those strongly run races really suit him.
“Duffle Coat has a great attitude and has had four runs now so he has loads of experience. At this time of year, it is hard to get a handle on the juvenile form as you don’t know what is what.
“You can’t beat a horse with an attitude like his. He is a strong stayer, that’s one way of describing him. Gordon said to me before the race that he doesn’t show an awful lot at home, but he keeps winning and that’s the kind of horse you want.
“There will probably be classier juveniles to come out in the next couple of months, but there will be none more tenacious and gutsy than he is.
“Gordon will have plenty of options for him and I imagine when his juvenile days are finished he will be going up in trip. As I say, he hasn’t run on the Flat yet either so he can go back and do that next summer as well. Look, he’s a nice horse to have
as you’ve got plenty of options.”
Meanwhile, Power admitted Tiger Roll 'never felt himself' as he expanded on yesterday's race which has some questioning the future of the ten-year-old champion.
“He was fine over the first three fences, but after that he just felt very flat," he added.
"Keith Donoghue told me that he would grab onto the bridle, but he never did that. As the race progressed, his jumping got a bit more sluggish and he just didn’t feel like he should feel like.
“I thought the best thing to do for the horse was to pull him up."