Horses To Follow » Cockatoo


Cockatoo put in a nice performance on his first start for 212 days when he finished third behind You’re The Top in a two mile beginners’ chase at Kempton on Monday. The lesser fancied of two Gary Moore-trained horses in the race, he matched strides with the leader and ultimate winner, the useful You’re The Top from early, up on his outside, and outjumped him at most of the obstacles, before he got in a little tight to the last on the back straight, after which Philip Hide appeared to accept that defeat was inevitable, and allowed him coast around the home turn on the outside as the main protagonists, including Cockatoo’s better-fancied stable companion I Have Dreamed, settled down to fight it out. Even at that, Cockatoo managed to keep on to deprive Epidavros of third place.

Cockatoo was off the track for more than a year before he returned at Kempton last March and ran well to finish third behind the useful pair Spanish Conquest and Sam Lord. He won at Lingfield later that month, but was pulled up lame in a competitive handicap hurdle at Sandown on his only subsequent start before Monday. There was a lot to like about his chasing debut on Monday, he jumped well, he travelled well, he appeared to come home sound, and his rider was easy on him once his winning chance had gone. He is still only six, and he progressed from a rating of 109 last March to 121 after he had won at Lingfield. Monday’s run was a lovely introduction to chasing, and he will be interesting next time wherever he goes. He could benefit from stepping up in trip.

23rd November 2009