Horses To Follow » Moncadou


Put up here before after he won on his previous run at Fontwell, Moncadou put in a huge effort to finish second in the Fox Hunters’ at Aintree on Thursday after being virtually brought to a standstill when Island Flyer fell in front of him at the first fence. The net result was that Moncadou jumped the second fence in last place, three lengths behind the second last horse and about 15 lengths behind the leaders. He made up the ground fairly rapidly, possibly too rapidly, and was right in there among them, just behind the front rank, by the time they passed the winning post first time, he was third by the time they jumped the big open ditch, the third fence in the Grand National, and he actually touched down in front over the Foinavon Fence. He had settled into a lovely rhythm for Alan Berry by then, jumping well and travelling easily, but he had to have expended a lot of energy to get there so quickly into a fast pace, and he lost ground as they raced down the far side, coming under pressure before the turn to the second last.

It was to the horse’s immense credit that he stayed on as well as he did, he jumped the second last in third place behind the winner Silver Adonis and eventual third Blu Teen. It looked like he was a real danger to Silver Adonis approaching the Elbow, but he just couldn’t muster enough energy to get past the leader, losing no caste in finishing second of the nine finishers.

This was a huge effort from JP McManus’s gelding, a big step up on his win in a hunter chase at Fontwell in February, which was his first run since he unseated his rider in the Topham Chase in 2009. He is 10, but has only raced 11 times over fences in his life. He remains interesting, he would be of big interest if he made the journey to Punchestown next week, although ideally he would like the ground to be more testing than it is likely to be.

8th April 2010