Horses To Follow » Mon Mome


Despite the fact that runner-up Mon Mome had raced 19 times over fences before last Saturday, he is just as interesting. Venetia Williams’s gelding always comes on significantly for his seasonal debut. Last season he was pulled up in the Country Gentleman’s race at Wincanton won by Neptune Collonges on his debut, in 2006 he finished third in a 0-140 handicap chase at Market Rasen on his debut and then went and finished second to Halcon Genelardais in the Welsh National on his second start. In 2005, he unseated his rider on his debut, finished second on his second start and won on his third start. You get the picture.

It is probable that Williams has the Welsh National in mind for Mon Mome this season once again, and he is likely to be a leading player in that contest. Although the handicapper gave him 7lb for Saturday’s run, that only brings him back up to a mark of 140, which is 2lb lower than his highest ever mark and only 4lb higher than the mark off which he finished second in the Welsh National two years ago. That run confirmed that he handles Chepstow, and there are no doubts about his stamina nor about his ability to handle the likely soft ground.

With the last two winners of the Welsh National, Halcon Genelardais and Miko De Beauchene, being set up to have another crack, and Nenuphar Collonges, Joe Lively and Notre Pere also probables for the race, this year’s renewal could be as strong as there has been in recent times, but Mon Mome has a lot in his favour. Although it seems like he has been around for ages, he is still only eight. Not counting jockeys’ claims, he was getting just 11lb from Halcon Genelardais when he went down by four lengths to him in the race two years ago, whereas this year, if they both line up, he will be getting 25lb from that rival, which would leave him with a lovely racing weight in the low 10sts. Ladbrokes are going 20/1 about him for the Welsh National, and that is too big.

© The Irish Field, 29th November, 2008