In this week’s eye-catchers post I’ve focussed on the big handicap chase from Kempton on Saturday. I touched on the two below in the video also…
Whatmore (8YO/H Daly)
This horse is 1/5,3p over fences and you’d like to think there’s plenty more to come off a mark of 138. He was held up cold here which is never ideal and he over-raced a tad also I think. It didn’t help that Tom O’Brien dropped his whip but I don’t think it would have changed the result. He ran as if he saw out the 3m on this flat track and when you look through his profile his best form has been when ‘good’ has appeared in the going (he handles some cut). While it seemed a frenetic pace early on, by the start of the final circuit Mister Malarkey was at the front, where he would stay – suggesting Jonjo Junior has got the fractions spot on/dictated somewhat from there on in. Whatmore has been ridden aggressively before and now that they must be confident that he stays, i’d like them to try prominent tactics again. Some of his form is starting to read very well, especially that Huntingdon Novice Handicap which looks a strong race for the track (Pym was 2nd that day, Erik Le Rouge in behind) and his run at Warwick was decent also, behind two decent sorts. He will win more handicap chases, just a case of when it clicks. In terms of spring ‘Festivals’ can see Aintree suiting or maybe even Ayr. Of course there’s a chance they try and take in a less competitive race.
Kidisart (8YO/B Pauling)
This chaser must surely have more handicap chases in him also – you do get the impression they may be working up to something this season. He dotted up at Aintree off a mark of 148 with the 2nd that day taking this very race. His form does have a solid look and his better efforts have been on decent ground. 25/26f is no problem for him and if Cheltenham dried out you’d consider him for something like the Ultima. Alas it’s likely to be soft (or worse) all weak if the weather forecasts are to be believed this far out. I’d consider putting him away fro Aintree again I think. He was held up here and always seemed to be on the back foot to my eyes- he made one bad error which didn’t help but plugged on. A more relentless gallop/more positive ride/more galloping track/even better ground (times suggested Kempton was riding nearer good than good to soft though) should see him return to winning form at some point. His mark may drop again and with only 9 chase starts there should be more to come in 2020.
Finally – i’ll mention Romain De Senam – he is only 8 but has had 26 chases and his mark is looking on the high side. He did travel well here before blowing up and could be one to keep an eye on – you can see him taking something over the summer months – there’s talk of him running in the Grand National which i’m not sure will suit, especially stamina wise – but there’s the odd nice summer pot (Uttoxeter/Perth/Market Rasen) and I wonder if Nicholls will map something out. We shall see!
That’s all for this week,