Horses To Follow » Shutthefrontdoor


Shutthefrontdoor put up a nice performance to win this 3m graduation chase. Weak enough in the market beforehand, he appeared to get a little out-paced when Vintage Star and Mickie went for home at the third last fence, but he moved into the race nicely after that, joined them at the second last, went in front by the last and stayed on well up the run-in to come clear.

JP McManus’ horse was weak enough in the market beforehand. Also, as is the case with most Jonjo O’Neill horses at this stage of the season, he should come on for this run.

He won the Irish National last season, so natural inclination is to think that he is fairly well exposed, but he isn’t. He is only seven years old, and Monday’s race was just his sixth chase.

Rated 151 going into Monday’s race, the handicapper will raise him a few pounds for this, but he could still be a well-handicapped horse. That may be irrelevant now, as his trainer suggested on Tuesday that the Lexus Chase may be his next target.

It is not unreasonable to think that he is a Grade 1 staying chaser in-waiting. Always highly regarded, he won his three bumpers and three of his five hurdle races before he embarked on his chasing career last season. He has lots of scope for progression now as the season develops and, while it is a long way off, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that he could develop into a genuine Gold Cup contender. Remember, the same connections’ horse Synchronised was known as a handicapper as he embarked on the season that took him to Lexus Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup victory.

10th November 2014