Horses To Follow » Eastview Boy
Eastview Boy put up a nice performance to win the two-mile novices’ handicap chase at Newcastle on Saturday. Held up last of the six runners through the early stages of the race, he started to make ground towards the leaders from the fifth last fence, where Turtle Watch fell and hampered him just a little. Volvalien had gone into a three or four-length lead at that stage as they rounded the home turn, but Eastview Boy travelled well in fourth place. Jumping into second place past two horses at the fourth last, he moved up nicely on the outside of the leader on the run to the third last, joined him at the second last despite showing a tendency to hang in behind, and had a slender advantage at the last. He got in a little tight to the last, but he was quickly away from it on the landing side. He only got home by a length and a half in the end, but he probably had more in hand than that, the first two pulled well clear – admittedly there was only one other finisher in the end – and the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time of the day by a fair way.
It was a nice performance from Philip Kirby’s horse. Volvalien set a nice standard, he had finished third behind Pilgrims Bay and Antartica De Thaix in a decent race on Tingle Creek weekend at Sandown on his previous race, and he was strong in the market here and appeared to run his race. Yet he just couldn’t withstand Eastview Boy’s late challenge.
The winner had unseated his rider early on at Hexham 10 days earlier on his chasing bow, so it was good to see him put in a clear round and jump as well as he did. He is only five and this was his first completed chase, so he has lots of scope for progression now. Rated 126 at his peak over hurdles, a 4lb hike for this win is more than fair, it brings him up to a chase mark of just 115, so he has plenty of leeway off that mark. He goes on good ground, handles this soft ground well – his sole win over hurdles was on heavy ground – and he goes well at Newcastle – his record there now reads 4221 – but he will be of interest wherever he goes next.
17th December 2016