Horses To Follow » Somersby


Somersby made a highly satisfactory chasing debut at Warwick last Wednesday, running out an impressive winner of a two-mile novices’ chase. Settled nicely back disputing second place on the outside of Kanad in the early stages, his jumping was sound and sure-footed in the main. He was a little out to his right at the first couple of the five fences down the side of the track, but Paul Moloney cleverly reined him back and managed to nip up between Kanad and Olympian Boy on the run around the home turn. From there, the result was never in danger, and Somersby came right away on the run-in to win by 14 lengths.

Still just a five-year-old, the son of Second Empire was a smart novice hurdler last term, easily beating a useful sort in Clova Island in a maiden hurdle in November, then finishing third behind the high class novices Karabak and Kangaroo Court in a hot Ascot contest before he went to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and finished third. He ran out of his skin that day, losing his position running down the hill before staying on really well up the run-in to snatch third place behind Go Native and Medermit, leaving the impression that he would benefit from a step up in trip. He has always shaped like a chaser, and he should come into his own this season, his first over fences. Henrietta Knight could hardly have asked for a better start to his new career. His next intended target is the Henry VIII Chase at Sandown on Tingle Creek day, and he should be a leading player in that. While the over-riding feeling is that we won’t see the very best of him until he steps up in trip, possibly not until next season – as well as his physique, he is from the family of Horner Woods, who finished second to Cooldine is last season’s RSA Chase – there is every chance that he will make up into a leading player for the Arkle. Remember that his trainer Henrietta Knight campaigned subsequent triple Gold Cup hero Best Mate at no further than two and a half miles in his novice chasing year. The Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown in February over two miles and five furlongs, which Best Mate won in 2001, looks like an ideal intermediate target.

4th November 2009