Plenty of rain about this weekend and there were more than a few runners who just were not at home on the testing ground.
Surprisingly there wasn’t really anything from under the radar this weekend that went in my notebook although the following were unlucky not to make the privileged spot of ‘NTF 1 to follow from the weekend’ –
LIENOSUS (E Williams) – 2nd in the 2.30 at Haydock on Friday – A credible 2nd behind the very exciting CLONDAW KAEMPFER and backed up his Persian War Hurdle run. Looks a promising type to follow.
KATKEAU (D Pipe) – 7th in the 2.30 at Haydock on Saturday – Was running a huge race before blundering away his chance at the 3rd last flight. He should be winning from his mark of 124 soon.
DARWINS FOX (H De Bromhead) – 2nd in the 2.55 at Navan on Sunday – Has now ran into 2 well above average sorts on his first 2 chase starts (Sword of Destiny & Oscars Well) and ran with credit both times. He should be winning before long.
There was, however, one runner that caught my eye, when running well at Haydock under conditions that won’t have suited…
NTF 1 to follow from the weekend
SUPER DUTY (D McCain) – Friday 1.55 Haydock – 2nd in the 2m6f Grade 3 Novices’ Chase
The first thing that struck me about this contest was how far the front 2 were ahead of the others at the line. They had pulled upwards of 28 lengths ahead of the rest and they were no mugs in behind. It was always going to be tricky off level weights to beat the winner Poungach but McCain’s 6yo did his best to serve it up to the winner and a 2 length defeat on ground that would not have suited is decent form in my book.
SUPER DUTY looked a bit sticky at a few of his fences and I would suggest he just struggled to jump out of the tacky ground with any great fluency; I would expect his jumping to be much slicker on better ground. The fact he was still able to run up to his best hurdle mark under these conditions shows there is plenty of ability in the tank.
He was a smart hurdler last term, culminating in a 2nd to SIMONSIG at Aintree in the Grade 2 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle, and he does look like he will be able to surpass that form over the larger obstacles.
He is a horse that loves to lead and for one reason or another (maybe the ground) he just couldn’t quite get into his rhythm here. Again, once he meets with Good to Soft or better ground I would expect him to be able to bowl along out front and get into a decent jumping grove, then we will see just how good he can be as a chaser.
There has been plenty to like from his 2 chase starts to date and once the ground dries out he can show his true qualities.
SUPER DUTY ideal conditions – Good to Soft or better ground | Not too much competition for the lead | Possibly best at around the 2m4/5f distance
Who were the runners that caught your attention and went in your own notebook as ones to follow from the weekend?
Did you see any future champions amongst the weekends runners?
Drop me a comment below and share your runners to follow from the weekend with the NTF readers.
Ben – (NTF)