Horses To Follow » Chaninbar


You can easily put a line through Chaninbar’s run to finish fourth in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Ayr on Saturday. Two and a half miles is simply not his trip. He showed huge pace down the far side, and appeared to have all of his rivals in trouble, but he just ran out of stamina in the home straight over the last two fences. On his previous run, the son of Milford Track put up quite a remarkable performance on the face of it to land the Red Rum Chase at Aintree. He actually lined up out the back that day, but Sean Quinlan got a bit of a flyer out of the tapes, he jumped the first fence really well, and suddenly he was just behind the front rank. His jumping was superb throughout, he stood off almost every single one of his fences and pinged them. He took it up off habitual tearaway Pret A Thou half way down the back straight, and was out on his own by the time they reached the end of the back straight as Doctor David and Oiseau De Nuit manoeuvred into a position to give chase. All the while you were waiting for his early exertions to take their toll up Aintree’s punishing and spacious home straight, but they never did, he pinged the second last, pinged the last, and maintained the gallop all the way to the line to post a really impressive win.

There is a sense that this performance was so far above anything that Chaninbar had achieved before, there is a temptation not to believe it and, if you believe it, there is a temptation to think that he will not be able to repeat the performance. He is a quirky individual, according to his rider, he does need things his own way, and he was racing in a first-time visor at Aintree after a sulky display when he was pulled up behind Qaspal in the Imperial Cup at Sandown in March. However, there is a chance that he will be able to reproduce it again for Sean Quinlan, who was riding him here for just the third time. Also, it is probable that he will be under-rated next time, given that he could only finish fourth on his subsequent start under just a 6lb penalty before the 14lb hike that the handicapper gave him kicked in. 20/1 winners often are, especially when there is a question mark over their temperament.

There is no question that Chaninbar has ability. He was beaten just a length and a half by that year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Katchit in a juvenile hurdle at Chepstow in October 2006 as a juvenile hurdler when with Paul Nicholls, he ran well enough in the Totesport Trophy this season for a 100/1 shot, and he looked good when he won a handicap chase at Newbury in February on his penultimate run before Thursday off a mark of 125, when he won easily and had subsequent winners Its Crucial and Chance Du Roy behind in second and fourth places respectively.

He raced off a 10lb higher mark at Aintree, and the 14lb hike is harsh enough, but he is only seven and he is obviously progressing now over fences. There is a good chance that he will be under-rated now wherever he goes next, he could be allowed go off at a decent price in his next handicap, but he will be worth a second look as long as he is dropped back to two miles. He is probably at his best on a flat track and on goodish ground.

17th April 2010