Horses To Follow » Hollywoodien
Hollywoodien ran a big race to finish third in the two-mile handicap chase at Sandown on Saturday, over a trip that was probably on the sharp side for him.
Held up through the early stages of the race as Garde La Victoire traded blows with De Faoithesdream up front, Tom Symonds’ horse always seemed to be struggling with the pace. He did come back on the bridle a little as they left the back straight and shaped up to the Pond fence, the third last, and he gave the impression at that point that he might be involved, but he had done a lot of running to get to that point. He didn’t jump the Pond fence that fluently, was immediately under pressure again, and it was to his credit that he kept on as well as he did to take third place, less than four lengths behind the classy winner Garde La Victoire and a length in front of the new Venetia Williams recruit Bright New Dawn.
This was a good race. Garde La Victoire is a classy chaser, and runner-up Bold Henry, who won this race last year, was well-primed and well-backed for it again. Hollywoodien did well to get as close as he did to them, closest at the finish.
He has won over two miles, but he put up the best performance of his career on his previous run, over two and a half miles at Wetherby on St Stephen’s Day, and he shaped here as if a step back up to that type of distance would bring about improvement again. Also, he is only six, and this was just his seventh chase in Britain. He will be of interest back up at two and a half miles.
7th January 2017