Horses To Follow » Money Trix

Money Trix

Money Trix put up a really nice performance to land the Class 2 three-mile graduation chase at Carlisle on Monday. Settled towards the rear of the seven-strong field in the early stages, he was just hunted around out the back for the first circuit by Brian Harding, jumping effortlessly and accurately and apparently enjoying himself. He took closer order going up the hill on the side of the track, where two good jumps helped his cause, as the well-fancied Roll Along, rated 17lb his superior, made mistakes and began to come under pressure. Companero and Lodge Lane led the field over the next, but Money Trix travelled really well just behind them and, from the time they jumped the fourth last, the open ditch, he looked like the most likely winner. Harding asked him to improve between the third last and second last, which he duly did, picking up marginally in front at the second last, and travelling well down to the last, where a good jump settled the issue. It was tiring ground at Carlisle on Monday, not ideal for one making his seasonal debut (in fairness, Companero and Lodge Lane were also racing for the first time this term), but Money Trix stuck to his task well and pulled clear on the run-in.

Money Trix has always been held in high regard by his trainer Nicky Richards, but he is obviously a fragile beast. After winning three novice hurdles in 2006, he finished second to Black Jack Ketchum in the Sefton Hurdle at that year’s Aintree Festival. He was a really exciting prospect then, given that he was always more likely to be more effective over fences than hurdles, but we didn’t see him again until January 2008, when he won a graduation chase at Newcastle on his chasing bow. Again his problems re-surfaced, and he didn’t race again until he took on Gone To Lunch and Mr Pointment in the Mandarin Chase at Newbury in December last year, when he was travelling well behind Gone To Lunch when he took a crashing fall at the first fence in the home straight. That fall seemed to have affected his confidence, as he didn’t jump well when he was beaten by Silver Sedge at Ayr on his next start. He was better on his final start last season at Kelso, but that was a fairly bloodless victory with Cloudy Lane falling at the first. That said, it was probably a confidence-booster like that that he needed before going off for the summer, and his jumping was very good on Monday.

There is no telling how high he can go now. A little unusually for a son of Old Vic, it can’t be soft enough for him. He would have been an ideal type for the Hennessy in my eyes off his chasing mark of 143 – 6lb lower than his hurdles mark – plus a penalty for Monday’s win, which would have got him in right at the foot of the handicap as long as Denman ran, but he is not even in the race, which is a real shame. Richards spoke after Monday’s race about possibly going for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on 28th December and, while that path would not enable him to take full advantage of his handicap rating, he would still be an interesting contender in that. The probable soft ground and small field there will suit, and he might be allowed go off at a decent price, given that he would almost certainly be taking on rivals who were rated vastly superior. Soft ground and a flat galloping track like Leopardstown would be ideal. He is nine years old, but he has only raced 10 times in his life, and just six times over fences. He is hugely progressive and he is worth noting now wherever he goes next.

8th November 2009

© The Irish Field, 14th November 2009