Horses To Follow » Final Nudge
Final Nudge put up a good performance to win the three-mile novices’ handicap chase at Newbury last Saturday. Always prominent, he and the leader Lessons In Milan had it between them from a fair way out. He was a little slow at the second last fence, and it looked like he might not catch the leader at that point. But he closed to within a length as they jumped the final fence, and he stayed on really strongly up the run-in. He joined the leader by the time they reached the elbow, and he stayed on past him from there to go on and win by over a length.
It was a fine staying performance from David Dennis’ horse. He stayed on strongly to get the better of a good horse in Lessons In Milan, giving him weight, who did just about everything right in front, and the pair of them finished well clear of Vinnie Red and Vieux Lille. Also, the winning time was 1.7secs faster than the time that new Gold Cup favourite Native River clocked in winning the Denman Chase over the same course and distance almost two hours earlier.
The handicapper raised Final Nudge 5lb to a mark of 140, but that was merited. He has raced just five times over fences, so he still has bundles of scope for progression now as a staying chaser. He is two for two in cheekpieces, so it is probable that they will be retained, he stays three miles well and he goes well on soft ground.
11th February 2017