Horses To Follow » Very Cool

Very Cool

Very Cool led from early in the two-and-three-quarter-mile handicap chase at Newbury on Friday. However, although he has led in the past, it never really looked like he was enjoying himself in front, he seemed intent on waiting for his rivals for a little bit of company in the early throes. That said, although he raced a bit lazily, he kept finding more up the home straight when the others came at him, almost as if he was waiting for them to come to him before going on again. Even on the run-in, it looked like South Bank might get to him, but he was actually always holding him.

This was a decent performance by Very Cool, and he could build on this now. He won this race off a mark of 107, which is 23lb lower than his hurdles rating. Although he only got home by a length and a quarter from South Bank, he gave the impression that he had plenty more left to give had more been required. However, given the margin and the manner of his victory, the handicapper really can’t put him up a great deal for this.

Very Cool was disappointing on his previous run at Cheltenham, and he gives the impression that a flat track suits him well. He is now unbeaten in two runs at Newbury, he is unbeaten in one at Sandown, and the most impressive performance of his career over hurdles was when he went down by a half a length to Liberate in the Long Distance Hurdle at Haydock, another flat track, last May. He shapes like a spring horse – he has won four times and been placed three times in seven runs over hurdles and fences between February and May in his career to date – and he should be able to further exploit his relatively low rating over fences now. The three-mile handicap chase at Aintree could be the race for him next. It is a track that favours front-runners over fences and he should get into it off a relatively low weight if that is the route that David Pipe chooses for him.

27th February, 2009