Horses To Follow » Harry Tricker

Harry Tricker

Harry Tricker ran out an impressive winner of a good two-mile handicap hurdle at Sandown on Saturday. Held up just behind the leaders in the early stages by Andrew Glassonbury, he made nice progress around the home turn and took it up on the approach to the second last flight. At that point, Zabeel Palace had also made nice progress to track him through, and the pair of them had it between them from the second last, but it never really looked like the Barney Curley-trained horse was going to catch Harry Tricker, and the son of Hernando stayed on really well over the final flight and up the hill to post an impressive win.

The form of this race is rock solid. Zabeel Palace had won his previous three races, the last one most impressively in a decent contest at Ascot. Okay, so he was up 13lb for that Ascot win, but he is most progressive over hurdles, he was rated 93 on the flat, and he was still racing off a rating of just 115 over hurdles on Saturday. The winner won well, and the front pair pulled 18 lengths clear of the third horse, Akram, who had won at Kempton five days previously. This was by far the best performance of Harry Tricker’s career, and he is well worth following now that he is beginning to fulfil his potential over hurdles. He has always given the impression that he could be good at this game, having been bought out of Amanda Perrett’s yard at Doncaster for 125,000gns. He was a decent performer on the flat, winning a couple of times over a mile and a half and earning a rating of 92, and he was just a 16/1 shot for the 2008 Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when racing off a mark of 126, having looked impressive in landing his maiden at Plumpton a couple of weeks previously. He had been tried in blinkers before, but Saturday was the first time that they tried him in cheekpieces, and they seemed to have the desired effect. The handicapper has raised him 10lb now to a mark of 131, and that is not harsh given the solidity of Saturday’s performance. However, if he takes his chance in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday, he will get to race under a 5lb penalty, so he will be effectively 5lb well in. He handled soft ground on the flat well, so he should be okay if the rains arrive at Cheltenham, and he is still only five, which is the right age for the Greatwood Hurdle, with seven of the last 10 winners belonging to that age group. Trainer Gary Moore won the Greatwood Hurdle with Numide last year, and it would not be at all surprising if he has had the race in mind for Harry Tricker for a while now.

7th November 2009