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Planet Of Sound

Planet Of Sound did really well to finish second to Albertas Run in the Amlin Chase at Ascot on Saturday after making a bad mistake at a crucial stage of the race. Philip Hobbs’s gelding was happily settled towards the rear of the field in the early stages of the race, on the inside, but he got the ninth fence all wrong just as the pace was increasing, and gave it a fair whack. The horse did well to stand up and Richard Johnson did well to stay on board, but it was effectively a race-ending mistake, or at least it should have been. Johnson allowed him the time to recover his equilibrium and gave him the opportunity to get back into the race, which he duly did. He moved up nicely just behind the leaders going to the third last. Although he was still just seventh at that stage, he was no more than four lengths behind the leader Albertas Run. AP McCoy kicked for home going around the home turn and Planet Of Sound came under pressure again, but he responded really well. He jumped the second last well, one of a line of five horses who disputed second place, moved into a clear second on the run to the last, jumped that obstacle well also, and kept on up the run-in to hold off Voy Por Ustedes for second place. He was never really going to catch the winner, who did everything right and was getting all the weight allowances, but he was only beaten three lengths in the end, and who knows how it might have turned out had he not made that bad mistake.

The son of Kayf Tara’s progressive profile over fences continues. He progressed throughout last season as a novice, running a cracker to finish third in the Arkle at Cheltenham in March, and he kicked off this campaign by winning the hotly-contested Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter earlier this month. This was just his seventh start over fences, he is still only seven, and there is every reason to expect that he will progress again for this. He stayed this two-mile-three-furlong trip well, which is hardly surprising given that he won twice over an extended two and a quarter miles at Newbury last season, and that he is by Kayf Tara out of a mare from the family of Dawn Run, and a half-brother to a winner over three miles. He may stay three miles in time, but he has the pace to be effective over two and a half. Even on the bare form of this run, he emerges as the best horse in the race – he was giving the winner 6lb and he was beaten by just three lengths – but he can be marked up a fair bit for it given the uncharacteristic blunder that he had to overcome. Also, Philip Hobbs’s horses are just not zinging at present, so it may be that there is even better to come when the yard hits top gear. Planet Of Sound handles good ground and soft ground, and we know that he handles Cheltenham well. He could easily make up into a Ryanair Chase horse, and it doesn’t make sense that you can back him for that contest now at 16/1 while the best you will do about Albertas Run for it is 7/1. In the meantime, Planet Of Sound is a candidate for all the top two-and-a-half-mile chases including, most imminently, the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon in early December.

21st November 2009