Horses To Follow » Shining Gale

Shining Gale

Shining Gale was a snug winner of a three-mile Class 3 novices’ chase at Warwick last Wednesday. He did run a little freely for Noel Fehily in the early stages, but it was his first time in cheekpieces, so it was fairly forgivable, and he should be even better if he learns to settle better in them. He pulled his way to the front in the early stages, but Fehily managed to rein him back in behind Prince Aeneaf and West End Rocker by the time they raced up past the stands on the first circuit. He jumped well in the main, joined the front rank as they embarked on the five fences down the side of the track on the final circuit, and turning for home he travelled best of all, with Fehily looking confident that he would be able to pick up the leader West End Rocker – who went for home at the fourth last – whenever he wanted. He duly did. Switched to the far side between the last two fences, he picked up nicely and showed a useful turn of foot on the good ground to take it up on the run-in and go clear to win with a fair bit in hand.

Shining Gale won the good two-and-a-half-mile novices’ chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting (Herecomesthetruth ran out at the last that day, but it is probable that Shining Gale had his measure at the time anyway) and was well fancied for the Feltham Chase when he fell. He was disappointing in a weak race at Southwell since then, but he continually jumped to his right that day, and something was obviously amiss. There could be a decent three-mile novices’ chase in him before the end of the season, perhaps the Ellier Development Chase at Punchestown which his trainer Charlie Mann won with Air Force One a couple of seasons ago.

18th March, 2009