Horses To Follow » Kings Advocate

Kings Advocate

Kings Advocate ran an eye-catching race to finish fourth in a really competitive two-mile-three-furlong handicap chase at Leopardstown on Sunday. Settled out the back in the early stages, he jumped well, travelled well to the second last and arrived there at the last on the inside with every chance. In fairness, there were about nine or 10 horses with a chance of sorts, and Kings Advocate couldn’t go with the top three as he raced on the far side, probably on the worst of the ground.

This was Kings Advocate’s first start since he was sent off as favourit for the 2007 Irish Grand National. He only finished sixth behind Butler’s Cabin that day, but he ran more than creditably in that contest for one who was having just his sixth start over fences. A useful hurdler the previous season, he was a progressive novice chaser without perhaps quite realising his true potential, but that might work in his favour now.

It was significant that Barry Geraghty rode Callherwhatulike in Sunday’s race instead of Kings Advocate, and it is reasonable to assume that there is a fair deal of improvement expected from the Saddlers’ Hall gelding from this run. He is nine years old, but he has raced just seven times over fences now. He has dropped to a rating of 126 (although he will probably get a couple of pounds for this performance), which could under-estimate his ability. He handles soft ground well, and there could be a decent handicap chase in him before too long.

25th January, 2009