Horses To Follow » Bradley


Bradley is another horse who was put up here last season, when beaten by Askkazar at Cheltenham in April, and he too is worth a mention again after a pleasing reappearance, back at Prestbury Park on Saturday in the three-mile handicap chase won by Balthazar King.

Backed into joint-favouritism, he raced in midfield from where he travelled and jumped well. He crept closer starting out down the back straight on the second circuit, the field starting to string out at that point, but he got outpaced at the top of the hill as Galaxy Rock laid it down to Balthazar King up front. Bradley briefly lost touch with the front few setting off down the hill, but started to stay on again after the third last. He was no better than sixth and some 10 lengths off the leaders approaching the second last fence, but he stayed on to take fourth over the last and continued to close on the front three up the hill, going down by less than six lengths in the end.

The Fergal O’Brien-trained gelding is eight but this was only his third run in a handicap chase. (He is a former hunter chaser.) He beat Wide Receiver in the Tim Molony Handicap Chase at Haydock last year off a mark of 125, taking it up a long way out and winning with a good deal in hand, with solid benchmarks well strung out in behind. He was raised 8lb for that, but his new mark still looks very fair judged on both his run behind Ashkazar in April, when the small field and the steady pace didn’t suit him at all but played right into the hands of the well-handicapped winner, and this run, for which he is entitled to come on. He will be suited by further than three miles this term (the Haydock win came over three and a half miles), and he looks set for a good season in staying chases. He goes well at Cheltenham and he could be a horse for the three-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at the November meeting now. He should be contesting some of the good staying handicaps this season, and is probably still progressing.

20th October 2012