Horses To Follow » Pressgang


Pressgang landed the two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day despite trying to throw the race away with a couple of erratic jumps to his left at the first two fences in the home straight. There is no doubt that he is an enigmatic character (trainer Paul Webber thought that he needed to go right-handed before this run) but he is undoubtedly highly talented. Second in the Cheltenham Bumper, he caught the eye when he finished second to Herecomesthetruth under a tender ride at Taunton on his previous run, and he was well backed for this contest at Kempton. The handicapper has put him up 10lb for this win, but that still leaves him on a mark of just 135, which is ideal Jewson Chase territory. (The last three winners of the Jewson have been rated 133, 133 and 135 respectively.) The almost assured fast pace of that contest will be ideal, as he travels so well into his races. He has previous form at the Cheltenham Festival, and there is a chance now that Webber will train him specifically for that race. If he does, and protects his handicap mark, he should be a big player in the race.

26th December, 2008