Can't Buy Time leads from Mister McGoldrick at the last on his way to gloryPICTURE: Edward Whitaker/racingpostpix.com
Supreme Leader gelding claims Victor Chandler
IT maybe eight years since Supreme Leader died but the son of Bustino remains a force within the jumps stallion ranks, something which was again illustrated on New Year's Day at Cheltenham when Can't Buy Time - a gelding from his penultimate crop - landed the Victor Chandler Chase under Tony McCoy.
The Jonjo O'Neill-trained eight-year-old was anchored at the rear of the field in the early stages before gradually creeping into contention at the top of the home straight.
At the front, evergreen veteran Mister McGoldrick (Sabrehill) jumped boldly and enthusiastically but looked a sitting duck for the strong travelling favourite Chapoturgeon (Turgeon).
But Chapoturgeon found little when pressured and it was left to Private Be and then Can't Buy Time to throw down the gauntlet with Can't Buy Time leading over the last.
He galloped on resolutely up the hill, despite wandering, to record a two and a quarter length success in thecolours of JP McManus.
Private Be finished second while Mister McGoldrick kept on to take third.
McCoy may partner Can't Buy Time in the John Smith's Grand National, for which Paddy Power and Stan James make the horse a 33-1 shot, as he searches for his first win in the race.
He said: "I thought the conditions would suit him and they went a good gallop which helped. Jonjo thinks he may be a National horse and he knows him better than me."
Following an accomplished career on the Flat for Clive Brittain, in which he finished third in the 1985 2,000 Guineas, Supreme Leader was retired to stand at Grange Stud - a jumps division of Coolmore - from where he was crowned champion jumps sire in 2004 and 2005. Only once since 1995 has he not finished in the top ten.
Bred by John Noonan in Ireland, Can't Buy Time was a €52,000 foal purchase by John O'Byrne at the 2002 Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale.
He is a half-brother to four winners including Galway Plate hero Stroll Home (by Tale Quale), while his dam, Sales Centre, was an unraced half-sister to Irish Cesarewitch winner and smart hurdler Potato Merchant.