Horses To Follow » Sa Suffit

Sa Suffit

Strong in the market beforehand, Sa Suffit put in a nice performance to win the two-mile handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday. Things didn’t go quite right for James Ewart’s gelding in the early stages of the race, he was taken on for the lead by old-timer Almaydan, who moved across him a little on the approach to the third fence, with the result that Sa Suffit appeared to lose concentration, guessed at the fence and almost landed on top of it. He hadn’t jumped the second brilliantly either. He settled into his jumping a lot better on the run down the back straight, however, moving up on the outside of Almaydan, the pair going toe to toe all the way down the far side as Saphir Des Bois moved noticeably well just behind on the outside. Almaydan retained the inside rail on the run out of the back straight, with the result the he was a length in front when they straightened up. At that point, of the three protagonists, you could have argued that Sa Suffit was travelling worst, as Calatagan arrived just behind them with a chance. A good jump at the third last by Saphir Des Bois took him three lengths clear, as Sa Suffit got in tight and landed a little flat-footed, but he dug deep from that point for 5lb claimer Harry Haynes. Still two down jumping the second last, he was just a half a length down at the last, and he powered up the run-in to go away and win by an ever-lengthening length and a half.

This was a good win. Saphir Des Bois is a talented animal, and the front pair pulled well clear of Almaydan in third. This was just the sixth chase of Sa Suffit’s life, he is only six, and he is still most progressive. He has now won three of his five completed chases, and finished second in the other two, but this was his most impressive performance to date. The handicapper raised him 10lb for finishing second to an on-song Chief Dan George in a near-three-mile chase at Kelso last March on his last run last season, but the mark of 137 off which he raced on Saturday on his handicap debut still obviously under-estimated his ability. The handicapper will have another go now after this, but he shouldn’t be too harsh given that he appeared to be all out to win by a length and a half. James Ewat said afterwards that he has changed Sa Suffit’s feed a little, that he has filled out and strengthened, and it is probable that he will continue to strengthen and improve throughout the season. He could be caught for pace over two miles on good or fast ground, he should be effective over two and a half miles on good ground, but two miles on soft ground suits him really well, and he will be of interest wherever he shows up next.

21st November 2009