Horses To Follow » Jaunty Flight

Jaunty Flight

The Class 2 three-mile novices’ chase at Perth on Wednesday probably fell apart a little. The Market Man could never get into a rhythm and long-time leader Silver By Nature blundered and unseated his rider at the third last, but Jaunty Flight was just getting his measure at the time anyway, and she stayed on really well to win readily.

Oliver Sherwood’s mare landed a bit flat-footed, hind legs first, over the water, the last fence on the first circuit, and she was off the bridle a little between then and the first fence in the back straight, but this mare is all about stamina, and the further they went the stronger she got. She travelled well around the home turn, joined Silver By Nature at that point, and looked the more likely winner of the duel that had developed between them before the Lucinda Russell gelding lost his rider. From there, Jaunty Flight pulled well clear of The Market Man and Lodge Lane, for whom there didn’t appear to be any excuses.

This was just Jaunty Flight’s fourth run over fences, and she continues to progress. She was a decent novice hurdler last season, winning the valuable mares’ novices’ handicap hurdle at Newbury last March on soft ground under top weight, and she is shaping up to be even better over fences. The handicapper has raised her 15lb to a mark of 141 for this performance at Perth, but she was rated 145 at her peak over hurdles and she is probably going to be a better chaser than she was a hurdler. Sherwood mentioned the Hennessy as a possible early-season target for her next term, and that makes an awful lot of sense. As long as he is careful with her between now and then, she should get into the race on a nice handicap mark, she will be a second season chaser, she is most progressive and she is only seven years old. Furthermore, she ran twice at Newbury over hurdles and she won both times. If the ground happened to come up soft for the Hennessy next November, she would have a real chance of winning it.

© The Irish Field, 2nd May 2009