Horses To Follow » Eric's Charm


It may be a little unusual to put up a 10-year-old who has run 26 times and who unseated his rider at the third last when out on his feet on his latest run, but there was a lot of encouragement to be gleaned from Eric’s Charm’s seasonal debut in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton on Saturday.

Oliver Sherwood’s gelding was hassled up front the whole way by Island Flyer, undoubtedly a contributory factor to his indifferent jumping. He blundered at a couple of fences, but still travelled well until they left the back straight on the final circuit, when his mistakes and the lack of a recent run took their toll.

Eric’s Charm has always needed his seasonal debut since he started jumping fences. His record on his last four seasonal debuts is now FPPU. He proved when he won the big three-mile handicap chase at Perth last April that he still retains some of the ability that saw him finish second to Lacdoudal in the Betfred Gold Cup in 2006. His current rating of 142 does not leave a great deal of room for manoeuvre, but he could still be worth following next time out. Ideally that will be at Sandown (or at least at a right-handed track) on softish ground over a distance of in excess of three miles when he might have it all to himself up front. There is a three-mile-five-furlong handicap chase at the Esher track on Tingle Creek day (December 6th) that often doesn’t attract that many runners, and that could be just the ticket.

© The Irish Field, 12th November, 2008