Horses To Follow » Awesome George

Awesome George

Awesome George put up a nice performance to win a Class 3 beginners’ chase run over two and three-quarter miles at Ascot on Friday. They didn’t go a great gallop early on, Prince Taime, from whom Awesome George would have been receiving 13lb had this been a handicap hurdle – took it up early on and set no more than a sedate pace, with the result that the jumping was all a little scrappy in behind, notably from second favourite, the Nicky Henderson horse Zemsky. Awesome George was good over his fences, just as he had been on his chasing bow at Exeter in early November, but he got a little caught in behind on the rail when they quickened up over the third last and around the home turn. However, he fairly picked up when he was pulled out wide on the approach to the second last. He got in a little tight to that fence, with the result that his momentum was halted a little, but he joined Zemsky between the last two, flew the final obstacle and pulled right away to post an impressive victory.

The slow pace would not have been in Alan King’s gelding’s favour. He did win a bumper over a mile and a half, and he won a two-mile novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day last January, but his best performances over hurdles, including when beaten a half a length by Presenting Copper on heavy ground at Cheltenham in January, have been when stamina rather than speed came into play. He had shaped most encouragingly when third behind Tchico Polos and Dee Ee Williams in that beginners’ chase at Exeter, and this was another step forward. He is only five years old, he handles soft ground as well as this good ground, and he is one to keep on your side for a while now. He should be even better at this type of trip, two and a half to two and three quarter miles, off a stronger early pace.

20th November 2009