Horses To Follow » Nacarat


Although only third in the end, Nacarat ran a cracker over an inadequate two and a half miles in the Melling Chase at Aintree on Friday. Just as in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton in February, when he spread-eagled his rivals over three miles, Nacarat’s jumping at Aintree was impeccable with the exception of the third last in the back straight, which he just met wrong. He took it up at the third fence and just bowled along from there. It looked like he was travelling better than any of his rivals on the run to the second last, and even between the last two fences he still looked likely to prevail, but Voy Por Ustedes and Schindlers Hunt collared him at the last and ultimately out-speeded him on the run-in. Even so, Nacarat lost nothing in defeat.

The son of Smadoun proved his liking once again for a flat track. His trainer Tom George wasn’t sure about the orientation, he thinks that he is probably better going right-handed than he is going left, and that may still be the case. More important than going right, though, is the fact that he does need to go over three miles. His relentless gallop and his exuberant jumping are big assets over that distance and on a flat track. His run in the Racing Post Chase was, for me, one of the highlights of the National Hunt season, and he will be a huge player in the King George over the same course and distance next season. He is still only eight and there may be even more improvement in him yet. There is little doubt that he will be trained to peak for the King George next season. That will probably be his season’s objective, unlike most of his rivals who will have at least a half an eye on Cheltenham, and 14/1 about him for that contest at the moment with William Hill, the only firm betting on the race, is more than fair.

3rd April 2009