Well wasn’t that a fantastic weekend of racing folks! Not only did we see Frankel sign off in style at Ascot but we were also provided with 2 days of superb jumping action from the home of National Hunt race; Cheltenham.
The action at Prestbury Park came at us hard and fast over Friday and Saturday and there were more than a number of runners that caught my eye over the 2 days.
It was pleasing to see an ‘NTF National Hunt 2012/13 To Follow List‘ horse in the shape of THE NEW ONE (NTD) make it 2 from 2 over hurdles on Friday. VILLAGE VIC (P Hobbs) who followed him home also looks a handy recruit to hurdling and both should make their presence felt this season.
DOMTALINE (P Nicholls) was a tad unlucky not to make it 3 from 3 over fences in the 2m4f novice chase but I would expect him to turn out to be a better chaser than the winner CARLITO BRIGANTE (G Elliott).
ROMANESCO (G Elliott) can be considered an unlucky loser in the Amateur riders handicap when falling at the last when coming tackle eventual winner HUNTERS LIGHT (NTD). There is obviously no guarantee he would have out battled the Twiston-Davies horse up the hill but he does look to be a bit of a blot on the handicap and surely we will see him in the winners enclosure sooner rather than later.
The Bet Victor Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday saw a huge turnout of 20 runners and there are probably plenty of them I could highlight from the race. There was one that finished around midfield that particularly caught my attention and that was GILBARRY (J J O’Neill). The 7yo was never put in the race by jockey Richie McLernon but once they straightened up for home the horse made giants strides from way out the back and finished full of running. He currently sits on a mark of 130 which is fully 18lbs lower than the mark he started last season on. If we are honest he was never really a 148 rated chaser but on the same hand I don’t think he is a 130 rated chaser either. I would put him closer to 135/140 and as such he has a bit of room for manoeuvre from his current mark. Saturday’s conditions were never likely to suit so we can take it he was in for a freshener type run. He is much better on Good ground (4 from 11) than the Good to Soft he faced at Cheltenham (0 from 9 on Good to soft or worse) and also much better on a less demanding track (he is 0 from 6 on undulating and very undulating tracks but 4 from 14 on flat or slightly undulating tracks). He is no world-beater but if they can get him some better ground on a flatter track then he can pop into the winners enclosure off his current rating.
GALAXY ROCK (J J O’Neill) ran a huge race in the 3 mile Handicap Chase from a mark that was 7lbs lower than the one he ran off in the Bet365 Gold Cup at the end of last season. That mark (137) looks lenient and providing he isn’t shifted too much from Saturday’s run the he is surely ripe for striking, possibly when facing a slightly longer trip.
CHICAGO GREY (G Elliott) ran a strange sort of race in the same contest. He was essentially never sighted from out the back and never got racing until around 2 out. One assumes there are future targets in mind for him and a bit of leniency from the handicapper would also probably not go amiss.
Despite the multitude of eye-catchers that hit my notebook from Cheltenham over the weekend it is actually to Kempton on Sunday where I go to for this weeks ‘NTF 1 to follow from the weekend’. This horse looks like a long-term project and although he could well pick up a few hurdle races this term it is as a future chaser that I see him making the biggest impact…
PRESENT VIEW (J Snowden) – Sunday 5.30 Kempton – 4th in the 2m5f Novices’ Hurdle
This 4yo came here from the pointing field with a big reputation and this was his first start for new connections and his first run since March. He was quite lit up out front during this contest and as he turned for home the exertions of this run started to take their toll. It is safe to say he probably needed this run to knock the freshness out of him. He took to his hurdles very smartly at the head of affairs where he made a lovely jumping shape at his obstacles, he certainly looks the type that will make into a very promising chaser in time.
He is by the sire Presenting who usually produces big galloping sorts and the sharp Kempton track just doesn’t seem to play to their strengths.
Take a look at the overall figures for Presenting progeny at Kempton since 2004 –
7/87 | 8.5% S/R | -£18.44 BFLSP
They are not absolutely terrible figures but my Proform database is telling me they are under-performing at the track.
If we take a look at the Dosage figures for PRESENT VIEW then we see a horse that has a pedigree that is chocked full of stamina –
PRESENT VIEW Dosage figures – 0-1-3-4-4 (12) | 0.26 | -0.92
His Dosage figures are not too dissimilar to another of the Presenting lot and one you may all be familiar with – DENMAN. In time I can see PRESENT VIEW being a similar type; heading off from the front and grinding his rivals into the ground with his endless stamina. PRESENT VIEW looks to have a bit of filling out to do and as such I imagine he will be staying over hurdles this season, gaining valuable racetrack experience in preparation for a life over fences.
He impressed me yesterday with his jumping style and as Jamie Snowden is not one to get them ready on debut (0/25 – 3 placed) I’m not concerned in the slightest by the way he faded in the home straight, the horse also didn’t help himself by running quite free. He will come on markedly for this run and I would be hopeful that he can pick up a couple of hurdle races this season. Even if he doesn’t he will sit in my notebook as one to take a serious interest in when he heads over fences, especially when faced with staying trips and galloping tracks.
PRESENT VIEW ideal conditions – Galloping tracks | 2m4f+ with 3m+ being ideal in time
Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear your own views on the weekends racing .
Who were the runners that caught your attention and went in your own notebook as ones to follow from the weekend?
Who posted the most impressive performance of the weekend?
Do you think any of the Cheltenham performers can make an impact at the Festival itself?
Drop me a comment below and share your runners to follow from the weekend with the NTF community.
p.s If you missed the link to my FREE NTF 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup Dosage report then you can grab the guide form the following link –
Ben – (NTF)