Horses To Follow » Massasoit


It seems that you can’t watch National Hunt racing these days without happening upon another Paul Nicholls recruit that is bursting with promise (Tatenen looked very good in winning on his chasing bow last weekend, but 5/1 for the Arkle five months out with no five-year-old’s allowance?), and Massasoit seemed to relish the testing conditions in landing a two-and-a-half-mile novices’ hurdle at Aintree on Sunday. A dual bumper winner for Malcolm Jefferson in the spring of 2007, he was disappointing on the face of it when only fourth behind Theatre Girl on his debut for Nicholls at Wincanton last November. However, two miles on good ground around Wincanton would never have played to his strengths. The extra half-mile and the rain that fell on Saturday night at Aintree was all in his favour, and he ran out an impressive winner in the end from another exciting prospect On Raglan Road.

The Ballymore Properties Hurdle at Cheltenham was mentioned afterwards as a possible target, but the son of Supreme Leader may need an even greater stamina test than that, and it may be that the Albert Bartlett emerges as his primary Cheltenham goal. In the meantime, wherever he goes next, as long as there is a premium on stamina, he should be worth following.

© The Irish Field, 27th October, 2008