Horses To Follow » Midnight Sail

Midnight Sail

Midnight Sail was an impressive winner of the two-and-three-quarter-mile maiden hurdle at Ascot on Friday. Well supported and well fancied, Alan King’s gelding travelled really well down to the second last, but a mistake at that obstacle seemed to have scuppered his chance as the Paul Nicholls-trained favourite, Fistral Beach, had gone for home at that point. However, once Chocolate Thornton had got Midnight Sail back on an even keel, he found plenty, picking up Fistral Beach on the run-in and going on to win impressively.

The form of the race is solid. The first two pulled well clear of their rivals, and runner-up Fistral Beach had finished second to Belcantista on his previous run. That horse was subsequently purchased by JP McManus and ran a cracker to finish second in the Ladbroke on Saturday. King reported afterwards that Midnight Sail was progressing well, and that is backed up by his race record over hurdles to date, each of his three runs representing a significant step forward. He is only five, and he will be an exciting staying chaser in time, all going well. More immediately, he could be a big player in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

© The Irish Field, 27th December, 2008