Horses To Follow » Millicent Silver
Millicent Silver ran a cracker to finish a close-up second behind Kingswell Theatre in the Devon National at Exeter last Friday. Held up through the early stages of the race, she came under pressure from Noel Fehily long before they got to the long turn for home, but she responded to that pressure. She made progress from the fourth last fence, moved into second place behind Kingswell Theatre at the last, about two lengths behind, and ran all the way to the line to get to within a neck of the winner at the winning post.
It was a fine effort by Nigel Twiston-Davies’ mare, coming from the rear in a race in which it was probably an advantage to race prominently. The winner and fourth both raced prominently, while the third horse Spookydooky was close up from early. The first four finished clear, and Millicen Silver was the only horse who got into it from the rear. Also, the race was run in a good time, even though four of the fences were omitted, just 0.03secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.
The Overbury mare ran here instead of in the Eider Chase at Newcastle the following day, but either race would have been a legitimate target for her. She stays really well, she appreciated this three-mile-six-and-a-half-furlong trip, and she may have done even better over the four-mile trip of the Eider.
She will be of interest now in another marathon chase. The handicapper raised her 6lb to a mark of 123, but she is only eight and this was just her seventh run over fences, so she still has plenty of potential for progression as a staying chaser. She could do even better on ground that is softer than this good to soft ground, or over a longer trip. It is a pity that she does not hold an entry in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter on the Saturday after the Cheltenham Festival. The fact that she has already proved that she can handle the unusual soft ground at that track – she won a three-mile handicap hurdle there on soft ground in October last season on her only run at the track – would have been an obvious positive in the context of the Midlands National. Perhaps connections have something else in mind for her. She will be of interest wherever she goes next, and the greater emphasis that there is on stamina, the better.
24th February 2017