Horses To Follow » Knockanrawley
Knockanrawley ran a good race on his seasonal debut to finish fifth in the Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday. Never far off the pace, Kim Bailey’s horse jumped well for David Bass through the early stages of the race, with the exception of the last fence on the side of the track first time, at which his rider appeared to lose an iron.
Back on an even keel, he was in a dispute of third place jumping the last fence on the first circuit. He started to struggle as they started to race down the side of the track final time, and his jumping over the five fences on that part of the track suffered as a result, but he appeared to get his second wind as they started around the home turn and he kept on from there to take fifth place, admittedly 20 lengths behind the winner One For Arthur, but beaten just a head by Houblon Des Obeaux for fourth.
It was a fine run by the Portrait Gallery gelding on his first run since November 2015. He should come on for this, and he could probably do better away from Warwick, he just couldn’t appear to get into a jumping rhythm over the five fences down the side of the track. He has run well at Newbury and Ffos Las, both flat, left-handed tracks, and at Cheltenham, he finished a close-up third behind Sausalito Sunrise in the three-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting in 2015. That was his last run before Saturday.
This was just his eighth run over fences, so there could still be more to come from him. He stays well and he goes well on soft ground, but he can handle better ground too, good to soft is fine for him as long as the distance brings his stamina into play. He will be of interest in another big staying handicap chase now, perhaps the Eider Chase, in which he finished fourth in 2015.
14th January 2017