Horses To Follow » Meridian City

Meridian City

Meridian City was a most impressive winner of what was probably a really good two-and-a-half-mile novices’ hurdle at Aintree on Sunday. Always travelling well just behind the leaders, he took it up over the third last. Brian Hughes was happy to sit just in front of his rivals at that stage, but he travelled most impressively over the second last, the only horse still on the bridle at that point. He got in a little tight to the final flight and landed a little flat-footed as the Paul Nicholls horse Bold Addition flew it, landed running and went in front. Meridian City had every excuse to shirk it from there if he wanted, but he obviously did have as much energy left as appeared, and he picked up impressively when Hughes asked him to pick up Bold Addition half way up the run-in, and go on to win by and ever-extending three lengths.

This was just Meridian City’s first ever race, his first since he finished down the field in the Aintree bumper last April and his first hurdle race. He had won two bumpers before Aintree, both at Musselburgh, and he had shaped with a great deal of promise when he gave 7lb and more to all of his rivals on his last run before Aintree. He is by Presenting, out of an Executive Perk mare from the family of Saxophone and Justpourit, so he is bred to be a chaser and his physical appearance backs up that notion, but he jumps hurdles well, and he can make his presence felt over the smaller obstacles before he goes chasing. He is only five, he should improve a fair bit on his seasonal debut, and he is worth watching wherever he goes next.

24th October 2009