Horses To Follow » Valley Ride

Valley Ride

Valley Ride looked good in landing the big two and three-quarter-mile handicap chase at Market Rasen last Saturday. Always in the front rank, he travelled and jumped well throughout, and could have been called as the most likely winner as they rounded the home turn. He joined From Dawn To Dusk over the second last, went on readily between the last two, and cleared away nicely up the run-in, pricking his ears and idling once he got to the front to post an impressive win.

The son of Glacial Storm is now really interesting as a staying chaser. He is nine now and he has raced 20 times, but he is still unexposed over fences, having contested just six steeplechases now. He has won three of them, finished second in two of them and finished third in the other, so he is obviously enjoying jumping his fences. Furthermore, this was his first run for Peter Bowen since he bought him for £13,000 out of David Arbuthnot’s yard, and it was the first time that he wore cheekpieces. The handicapper raised him 9lb to a mark of 134 for Saturday’s performance, but he was rated 138 at his peak over hurdles, and it looks like he could prove to be an even better chaser than he was a hurdler, so there could be much more to come. Bowen is talking about targeting him at the Grand National, which is interesting. As a 10-year-old, he will be the right age for the race, he jumps well, he stays well, he is good flat tracks and he goes on good ground. As long as the trainer looks after his handicap mark a bit between now and then, he will be interesting for the Aintree showpiece. In the meantime, he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

26th September 2009