Horses To Follow » Trenchant


There were plenty of excuses being bandied around about for Ainama and Conflictofinterest after the Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday, with the result that the winner, Trenchant, may have gone a little under the radar. He shouldn’t have. He was the winner on merit.

This was a truly-run race in which it was difficult to make genuine excuses for anything. Alarazi and Jamie Moore set a decent pace, Alfie Flits took it up at the end of the back straight, Dee Ee Williams had every chance, Ainama came there with every chance at the second last, and Trenchant came on the outside and beat them all. Ainama did miss the last two flights, but it is difficult to imagine that he would have beaten Trenchant even if he had jumped them better. All you can suppose, if you are an Ainama fan (which I was and still am to a degree) is that Nicky Henderson has left a bit to work on. He certainly seemed to be suggesting that he has in his post-race interview. However, Trenchant didn’t get the run of the race either. He got caught in behind the fading Alarazi as they rounded the home turn, a crucial stage in a race at Kempton on good ground, and he still managed to find enough over the last two flights to run his rivals down.

Alan King seemed to be undecided about where Trenchant would go at Cheltenham – he had been his Fred Winter horse, but that plan might have to be scrapped now – the Supreme Novices’ or the Triumph, but he now looks to be favouring the Triumph. He seemed to be fairly convinced that Walkon is better than Trenchant, so this win was a big pointer to Walkon. It was also a pointer to Torphichen, who beat Trenchant well at Sandown earlier this month. However, the pace of that race was sedate, totally different to last Saturday’s race and to any race at Cheltenham. Trenchant may be under-rated, and he may be allowed go off at a bigger price than he should for whatever race he contests.

21st February, 2009