Horses To Follow » Singlefarmpayment
Singlefarmpayment put up a really nice performance to win the opening race at Cheltenham’s December meeting last Friday, the three-and-a-quarter-mile novices’ chase. Always travelling, it looked like he might have been more than Adrian Heskin wanted him to, if anything, in behind horses. Easily improving his position down the back straight, he travelled well down the hill and he moved up into a share of the lead at the third last fence. Allowed stride on into the lead around the home turn, he stayed on strongly from there over the final two fences and up the run-in. Arpege D’Alene did close him down close home, but it is probable that Tom George’s horse was idling more than tiring, and that he was value for more than the bare two-and-a-half-length winning margin.
There was a lot to like about this performance from Singlefarmpayment. It was a good race, a race that was won last year by RSA Chase winner Blaklion, with Emerging Force and Arpege D’Alene setting a fair standard, and Singlefarmpayment could have been called as the most likely winner from a fair way out and, ultimately he won well.
This was another step forward from Tom George’s horse. A progressive staying novice hurdler last season, this was just his third run over fences, and he has improved with each run. On his previous run at Ascot, he had finished a good second to Beware The Bear, who was impressive in following up at Newbury on Wednesday, and this was another step forward from that. The handicapper raised him 9lb to a mark of 142 for this, which is also 9lb higher than his best over hurdles, but he is deserving of that kind of mark. He is only six and he is obviously progressive, so he would be of interest in a staying handicap chase, but he would also be of interest now stepped up in grade and kept to novice company. He is two for two at Cheltenham now, so he will be of obvious interest when he goes back there again.
9th December 2016