Horses To Follow » Knockanrawley


Knockanrawley ran a big race to finish third in the three-mile-three-furlong handicap chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.  Always in the front rank, the Portrait Gallery gelding jumped and travelled well throughout.  Second behind breakaway leader Rigadin De Beauchene as they started off down the hill, he probably touched down just in front over the third last fence.  Disputing with ultimate winner Sausalito Sunrise as they rounded the home turn, he got in a little tight to the second last and the last fences, which halted his momentum twice.  Even so, he stayed on gallantly up the hill on the testing ground to retain third place.

This was a massive run from Kim Bailey’s horse.  It was a good race and it was run at a strong pace on testing ground and in a good time, just 0.02secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par, and it favoured the horses who were held up off it.  Knockanrawley did best by far of those horses who raced up with the pace.

This was his seasonal debut so, while this was probably his early season target, he is entitled to come on at least a little for it.  More than that, however, he is only seven and this was just his seventh chase, so he still has scope for further progression as a staying chaser.  Stamina has always been his thing, he won the Mandarin Chase over three and a quarter miles at Newbury last December, and he was fourth in the Eider Chase at Newcastle over four miles in February.  Also, he goes well on soft ground, so it is not surprising that connections are talking about the Welsh National next for him.

The handicapper has raised him just 3lb to a mark of 139, and that is more than fair.  There could be a big staying handicap chase in him now off that mark.

14th November 2015