Horses To Follow » Description


Description put in a good performance to finish third in the two-mile-five-furlong novices’ handicap chase at Cheltenham on Thursday. Held up by Henry Oliver in the early stages, he travelled and jumped smoothly as a fast pace was set by Midnight Chase. He improved to race in midfield as they went past the stands but as they went down the back and the pace lifted again he began to struggle and, after a few slow jumps, he fell back to the rear again. At least 15 lengths behind the leaders when they jumped the fence before the home straight, he looked tired from here but he picked up again and took off coming up the straight, passing six horses to take third from a near impossible position.

This was a real eye-catching run from Description. Having got seriously outpaced down the back straight he managed to pick up again and bagged third from having looked at one stage like he would be trailing in last. There is a sense that Sue Smith’s gelding was flattered a little, staying on past beaten horses after they had gone hard from the front, but this run confirmed that he does need three miles at least to be seen at his best, especially on this good ground. The two horses who fought out the finish, Midnight Chase and Sound Stage, are two useful performers, and the manner in which Description stayed on at the end was impressive. He is crying out for a return to three miles now. It was good ground when he won a three-mile handicap chase at Carlisle last October, when he achieved his highest ever Racing Post Rating. He was rated 115 then, he is now rated 123, but there he looks at least that progressive, that is a mark off which he should be able to win now given his conditions. He has shown a decent level of form on soft ground and over shorter distances, but he looks to be a better horse on good ground, and he will be of interest now wherever he runs next. He is in the Durham National at Sedgefield on Tuesday, over three and a half miles, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in that as long as the ground is good.

15th April 2010