Horses To Follow » Saphir Des Bois

Saphir Des Bois

Saphir Des Bois lost nothing in going down by a length and a half to the exciting Sa Suffit in the two-mile handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday. Kept wide by Noel Fehily throughout, Jonjo O’Neill’s horse travelled well and jumped really well all the way around to the home straight. He appeared to be going a fair bit better than his two main rivals, Sa Suffit and Almaydan, as they straightened up for home, and a really good jump at the third last took him three lengths clear. He was still just about in front jumping the last, but he had no answer to Sa Suffit’s finishing surge. Even so, the winner is potentially very good over two miles on soft ground, the pair of them pulled well clear of their field, and the time of the race was good, just under Racing Post par time.

This was just Saphir Des Bois’s fifth start for Jonjo O’Neill. Although a winner over two and a half miles on his debut in the UK last January, he proved here that he had the pace for two miles, especially on this soft ground. The handicapper will probably raise him a couple of pounds for this, but he is still only five, he jumps really well, and he is still progressing. He should be worth following next time in a similar contest, ideally again on soft ground. He would be unlucky to run in to another similarly progressive type like Sa Suffit.

21st November 2009