Horses To Follow » Isn't That Lucky

Isn’t That Lucky

Isn’t That Lucky had no chance of beating the impressive winner, Chapoturgeon, in the Jewson Chase on Thursday, but he was a clear second best in what has become a really good race as a pointer to the future, and he is even a little better than the bare form that he showed here.

It is probable that the Jewson Chase had been on Isn’t That Lucky’s agenda since early in the season, although Jonjo O’Neill was so careful with his handicap mark that he needed to win at Stratford on the Monday before the Festival started in order to get a 5lb penalty which would ensure that he would get into the race. Perhaps it was Isn’t That Lucky to whom Jonjo was referring when, asked at a pre-Cheltenham evening what was his best-handicapped horse of the week, he replied that he was so well handicapped he wouldn’t get into the race.

Isn’t That Lucky made a mistake at the second fence, and was well back in the field in the early stages. He made another mistake at the fourth last just as the pace was increasing, which checked his progress just when he needed to be getting closer. He wouldn’t have got near the winner anyway, but he kept on really takingly over the last two fences to take second place off Crescent Island on the run-in, and he had some useful novices behind him, including Northern Alliance, Tranquil Sea and his far better-fancied stable companion Kia Kaha.

The handicapper has raised the Alflora gelding just 3lb for this performance, and that is decidedly lenient, especially when you consider that he raised the winner 18lb for beating him by nine lengths. He is progressive now over fences, and there should be a decent handicap in him now off his new mark of 133 ideally over two and a half miles. His dam was a two-and-a-half-miler and he is a half-brother to Wee Robbie, who probably didn’t fully stay three miles but excelled over two and a half.

12th March, 2009