Dan Overall Eye-catchers: Four horses to note from the last week
As we approach the end of the National Hunt season, I will begin highlighting horses who I expect to be campaigned during the summer....
Tuesday 29th March – 4:45 Uttoxeter – Frau Georgia (PU)
One such horse is Frau Georgia, who was having her first run for over four months here.
And while the end result wouldn’t necessarily lead you to think she’s one to keep onside, she did shape fairly well for a long way and I have little doubt that she will improve significantly for the run.
Held up and racing keenly, as is typical for her, she looked as though she may creep into contention down the back but her effort petered out once she turned for home. Sam Twiston-Davies made sure not to give her a hard race, as he pulled her up not long after she was pushed along for the first time.
While she is still above her previous winning mark over fences, she’s only had seven runs over fences and there ought to be suitable opportunities in the coming months. In particular, keep an eye out for her if she’s running at Perth with Tom Scudamore riding.
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Friday 1st April – 2:25 Ayr – Soft Risk (2nd)
Soft Risk has been a credit to connections this season, winning a trio of novice hurdles before running well in his two handicap starts to date.
His most recent start was another step in the right direction and the way the race unfolded might have been to his detriment; he made smooth headway to chase the leader, John Locke, on the run to three out when the latter took a crashing fall. That left Soft Risk in the lead far sooner than Sean Quinlan would have liked, which left him vulnerable to the fast-finishing Platinumcard.
While that was likely his last run in the season, Soft Risk looks the type to make a good novice chaser next season. He’ll remain on a workable mark, should they pursue the handicap route, and I look forward to seeing him progress again next term.
Saturday 2nd April – 3:35 Ayr – Fidux (4th)
While no horse was a match for Win My Wings, I was impressed by the run of Fidux with a view to the coming months.
Running for the first time in 112 days, he was sent off an unfancied 66/1 chance; not surprising given the absence and considering he was relatively more exposed than most of his rivals.
However, he outran his odds to finish fourth, albeit beaten twenty-four lengths behind the emphatic winner. This was Fidux’s first attempt at a true marathon test having spent the majority of his career over intermediate trips.
As we head into the summer months, is it is worth considering that Fidux’s four wins over fences came in: July, October and two in June. His emphatic win at Worcester off a mark of 140 suggests that his current mark is workable, especially when he drops back in class.
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Sunday 3rd April – 1:45 Fairyhouse – Glenglass (2nd)
After reportedly picking up an injury and making a noise on his hurdling debut back in December, Glenglass returned to the track with a promising effort behind a good yard stick.
Equipped with a first-time tongue-tie, his jumping was far from fluent and in truth, he was never looked to be going as well as the eventual winner although he did threaten to make a real race of it.
Described by Gordon Elliott as a “huge horse, 17.1 or 17.2”, he looks like a work in progress and I suspect that we are yet to see the best of him. It will be interesting to see if they give him another run before the end of the season or if they look to preserve his novice status for next year. While his long-term future lies over fences, he’s certainly capable of winning over hurdles and he could develop into a useful second-season novice hurdler.