On the Monday before the Cheltenham Festival, Time To Get Up was a general 9/2 shot for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.
In the wake of the Irish domination at the National Hunt Olympics and the manner of Mount Ida’s easy success, despite the fact she looked violently outpaced in the early stages, there may not have been too much regret from those representing Jackdaws Castle that Time To Get Up had opted for the Midlands National.
As with Stratford’s season opener, the Uttoxeter showpiece sandwiches the biggest four days in National Hunt but merits respect in its own right for what is undoubtedly the most popular of its race meetings during the season.
And those who had their antepost money refunded once confirmed that JP McManus’s green-and-gold silk-bearer was Staffordshire bound were surely temped to reinvest for a Saturday flutter after Gold Cup Day.
This was especially given that the two biggest handicaps outside of the Festival in Britain, the Betfair Hurdle and Ladbrokes Trophy Chase, were both won by Jonjo O’Neill.
And he would land another of the domestic clashes.
Under son Jonjo O’Neill Jr, Time To Get Up did indeed get up on time, taking the Listed event as a 3/1 favourite and beating Lucinda Russell’s Mighty Thunder.
Carrying just 10st 10lbs, he made a mockery of his mark of 138, travelling powerfully and jumping smoothly throughout the duration of the four-and-a-quarter-mile trip.
Sole Irish representative Screaming Colours finished fourth as the momentum from Gloucestershire for those over the sea halted temporarily.
Jump racing; the meetings come thick and fast, and there’s always the opportunity, be it for jockey, trainer, owner or punter, to claim some redemption when the bigger stage doesn’t always go your way…