Horses To Follow » Hillview Boy

Hillview Boy

Hillview Boy ran a big race to finish second in the 12-furlong handicap at Doncaster on Saturday. Held up out the back in the early stages, he made nice progress on the far side up the home straight and looked a real danger passing the two-furlong pole. However, he was never really going to catch the leader Hunterview, but he did stay on well to take second, two lengths behind the leader but also two lengths in front of everything else.

The thing that makes this performance worthy of note is the fact that the race wasn’t run to suit hold-up horses at all. Richard Hills was allowed dictate a sedate pace on all-the-way leader Hunterview, with the result that it was very difficult for anything to come from the back once the sprint for home developed in the straight. The three horses that raced in the first three positions throughout, Hunterview, Ellmau and Alcalde, finished first, third and fourth. The only one who got in among them from the rear was Hillview Boy, who was third last of the 15 runners turning for home, but progressed all the way up the home straight to finish second. Furthermore, the first four finished clear of their rivals. Hillview Boy is still relatively lightly raced for a five-year-old. His two wins on the flat have been over nine and 10 furlongs, but he did win a bumper at Musselburgh in December 2008, and he does stay this 12-furlong trip and he handles easy ground well. The handicapper has given him 3lb for this performance, but it was probably a fair bit better than the bare form of the race, and even his new mark of 90 may under-estimate his ability now.

24th October 2009