For this week’s ‘eye-catchers’ i’m focusing on a couple of chases from Worcester on Friday 27th >>>
WAY OUT WEST (6YO Bay/Old Vic / Robert Walford)
This horse is no world beater, running here off 104, however i’m sure that’s a mark he can win from. This was his first start for the yard, first start in 234 days, his first start on proper soft in a handicap and it was only his 2nd chase run. He was also without his usual tongue-tie.
He ran a tad keen here through the first part of the race and it’s no shock he wears a hood. Whether he can win again over fences may depend on how he settles. He tends to race prominently and he jumped well here. He also appeared to handle the ground which would have been a question based on his form for Charlie Longsdon. Maybe as he’s got older/stronger he can handle it just fine. It could be what he’s wanted! He was smashed in the market suggesting a big run was expected. He did make a mistake down the home straight but also looked tapped for toe.
It could be he’s worth a go over further again, 2m4f or so. Or a stiff 2m. It’s not impossible that he comes on a tad for this run, albeit he finished as if he was fit enough to have won. The two in front of him were rated 117/110, the 2nd was arriving in form. It wasn’t a great race but i’d be surprised if his new connections didn’t get a win or two from him over fences.
Given he’s thoroughly unexposed over fences I wouldn’t want to pigeon hole him as to ‘ideal conditions’. But soft didn’t seem to inconvenience him here, and he ran as if worth a go back over further. He raced prominently and generally jumped well – and you’d expect natural improvement on that front.
A race to follow?
2.35 Worcester (27th Sept)
Surely the first three from this Novice chase have a few muddy handicap chases in them?!
The race was won by The Hollow Ginge, on his first chase start. He was a solid C3 handicap hurdler and his wins had come in heavy, over 23f, staying on strongly each time. This was a career best on RPRs (a 140, with an official mark of 132 going into the race)
This was ‘proper soft’ and again he stayed/handled conditions best. He jumped well and galloped. Given the races I like to focus on he could have some proper slogs in him over the next few years (esp at the likes of Haydock, as he’s already proven in ‘Haydock Heavy’) It will be interesting to see how high he can climb. He tries, responds to pressure and stays all day on the evidence to date.
Follow The Bear ran a cracker also – he travelled and jumped so well on the front end. His profile would suggest he’s best on a decent surface and it could be this soft ground found him out. Were it decent ground I suspect he’d have won with the Hollow Ginger plugging on, having got outpaced. I thought there was a lot to like about this run and given his running style/jumping, he’s a chaser i’d want to keep onside, especially come the spring. It could be he handled the ground find and actually wants further. The jury is out on that. 3 miles looks fine and he should make up into a better chaser than hurdler – he looks a fine big unit of a horse, and he may still be filling into his frame.
I should also mention The Conditional.
This Irish import was having his first start for David Bridgewater – who’s team have been in much better form in recent weeks – and good to see young Brendan Powell getting rides – he’s a fine pilot over fences imo.
The horse was having his first start in 201 days and he looked a smaller/nippier type. His one career win to date was in a heavy ground maiden hurdle over 23f.
So, 3 miles in proper soft, should be no problem at all. He could stay even further.
I could see him winning a few chases around the likes of Plumpton and Fontwell, and it will be interesting to see if he can progress.
This was a strong race for the track and the time of year I think.