For this week’s eye-catchers i’m going to focus on the 2.45 from Warwick on Monday 23rd September. This was a C4 Novice Handicap Chase over 3 miles and i’d like to think the 2nd and 3rd may be winning soon enough in the coming weeks…
Templepark (6 YO Bay Male / Fergal O’Brien)
This unexposed chaser (1/6,4p) was having his first start for Fergal O’Brien and his first run in 59 days. He over-raced through this, to my eyes anyway, albeit he’s seemingly always been a keen sort. Whether they can find a way to make him race more efficiently, time will tell. I think that may be key to him staying 3 miles, as his form to date has been over shorter. It could be that a drop in trip and an easy time on the front end will see him return to the winners’ enclosure. I thought he jumped ok on the whole, albeit with room for improvement. His form is on a decent surface (untried on softer) so it may be they need to strike soon, or it will be a case of waiting until the spring. Maybe he wants soft! In any case, this mark looks workable and if Fergal can improve him, he should be winning again at some point.
Kapgarry (6 YO Bay Male/ Nigel Twiston-Davies)
This horse was having his first chase run of his life and his first run in 151 days. You’d assume he would have been fit enough so it could be that he simply doesn’t stay 3m. He made a brief effort turning for home before fading. It could be he needed it, and 3m is his trip – or that he also wants to drop in trip slightly. His breeding would give mixed messages as to his stamina for 3m – his dam and half-siblings are/were generally 2 milers. Maybe a strongly run 2m4f would be ideal. I thought he jumped well enough, out to his right on the odd occasion, but nothing major.
His opening handicap mark over hurdles was 130 and he ran off 120 here. They clearly wanted to get on with chasing asap and the next couple of years could be when he comes into his own. He only has a small field novice hurdle win to his name so far and was highly tried at times over timber. He’s one to track I think as there are chases to be won with him. The ground is an unknown I think and I wouldn’t want to say whether he has a preference yet. I wouldn’t be put off on soft, price allowing.