Horses To Follow » Alfie Flits

Alfie Flits

Mahonia set a good pace in the Grade 2 two-mile novices’ hurdle at Haydock on Saturday, which suited Alfie Flits well, as Brian Hughes was able to just sit behind the pace on the outside and concentrate on getting his mount jumping well, which he did. He joined Mahonia in front at the end of the back straight, but it was quickly obvious that he was travelling better than the Paul Nicholls horse. He moved on at the top of the home run, moved over to the stands rail and quickly went two lengths up. Favourite Dee Ee Williams and the well-backed Son Of Flicka mounted challenges of sorts, but Alfie Flits was able to withstand both with relative ease and he went clear to post a really impressive win.

Mentioned here after he won a listed contest over Saturday’s course and distance back in November, this was another step forward for Alan Swinbank’s gelding. Rated 112 on the flat, he is also a really useful novice hurdler, and he excels on a flat track. Two of his three bumper wins were at Wetherby and Southwell, two of the flatest tracks in the UK, while he ran a cracker to finish fourth to Pangbourne in the Aintree bumper. He ran ok on his only visit to Cheltenham last October, when he was fourth to Dee Ee Williams, but he had Dee Ee Williams (perhaps a below form Dee Ee Williams) well behind on Saturday, and it has to be possible that Swinbank will skip Cheltenham altogether with Alfie Flits and keep him fresh for Aintree. If that is the scenario that develops, he would arrive at Aintree fresher than most, and he would be of big interest in the two-mile novice race, probably against more fashionable rivals who would be going to Aintree after having had hard races at Cheltenham only three weeks previously.

17th January, 2009