Horses To Follow » Factotum


Factotum put in an eye-catching performance to finish second in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday. Ridden patiently well out the back off a slow pace, he travelled well, although his jumping was a bit guessy on occasion. He travelled well down the hill, but came under pressure after the third last when the pace increased, and was no better than 10th of the 14 runners rounding the home turn. From there, he finished really well. He was still only eighth jumping the last and eight lengths off the leader Right Option, but he finished best of all and snatch second place, beaten two lengths. The winner Right Option was impressive, but he was ridden handily throughout off a slow pace, and when he kicked on the way around the home turn, he made it difficult for the others to catch him, so Factotum did well to get so close. The son of Sadler’s Wells is probably a tricky enough ride, he wears a cross noseband and is a hard puller, so AP McCoy had no option but to ride him out the back in order to get him to settle better. It is unlikely that he will be ridden any other way this season, so he will always be a slave to the pace in the race, but a lot of these handicap hurdles are run at a good pace, and that will suit him. He’s only five and, a dual winner on the flat for Luca Cumani, he is still lightly raced over hurdles. The handicapper has raised him 2lb for this, which is fine, and he will be interesting now when he gets a faster pace and slower ground.

17th October 2009