Charlie Mann Counts on Nadover
The first Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase was held in 1874. It still takes place in the Czech Republic in the town of Pardubice. Every second weekend in October, the best steeplechase horses converge on Pardubice to take part in what is considered to be the most difficult steeplechase race in Europe. Horses must complete a 6.9 kilometer course that has thirty-one obstacles, such as ditches and stone walls, and it takes approximately ten minutes to complete. To qualify for the Velka Pardubicka horses must compete in one of the four qualifying events and have to be seven years or older to be eligible for the race.
This year, the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase will take place on Sunday the 12th of October 2008 and Charlie Mann, who won this tough racing event in 1995 with It’s A Snip, is hoping that Nadover and jockey Noel Fehily will be able to perform well this year. There will only be three international competitors at the 2008 Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase, namely Nadover, Fatal Mac and Ivoire de Beaulieu, in the sixteen horse line-up.
Nadover will be competing in the Velka Pardubicka for the United Kingdom, where he is trained by Charlie Mann. Even though Nadover has only won four of his eighteen career starts, Mann has been carefully preparing him for this event. Nadover did not finish spectacularly in the Aintree Grand National, which was held in April, finishing behind Comply or Die in seventh position. However, many believe that he is the strongest international competitor this year, and that with Mann’s guidance and training he stands a very good chance on Sunday. Charlie Mann sent three of his horses to compete, with Poseidon’s Secret for the two and a half mile hurdle race, Nadover for the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase, and for the two mile six steeplechase, he selected Flight Command.
In the Czech Republic, the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase is not only seen as a horse racing event but a part of the culture because of its place in racing history. This year promises to be as spellbinding and exciting as previous years, with worthy competitors and Nadover trying to bring home victory for Charlie Mann.