Horses To Follow » William Hogarth

William Hogarth

William Hogarth is in danger of getting a bad name now after he went down by a head to Tasheba in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Sandown on Saturday. He is now still a maiden after seven attempts over hurdles, and in four of his last five races he has finished second. Furthermore, his demeanour wasn’t visually appealing as he went head to head with Tasheba up the run-in on Saturday, his head hanging to his left a little and his tongue lolling out, but there is a danger that he will be unfairly labelled now, and that he will be under-estimated next time as a result. Actually, you can easily argue that he ran a cracker on Saturday. Nothing wanted to go on early, unusually for a two-mile handicap hurdle at Sandown, so AP McCoy ended up setting the pace, which wasn’t ideal. William Hogarth didn’t drop the bridle the whole way round, he sat in front on the rail, all the while wanting to go faster than his rider wanted him to. He led to the second last, and there was a lot to like about the way that he battled on all the way to the line when he was challenged by Tasheba. Indeed, you could argue that he should have been awarded the race at the subsequent stewards’ enquiry, that the winner carried him across the track, causing him to lose more ground than the head by which he was beaten. The handicapper has raised him 6lb for this, which is a little harsh, but he should still be able to win off 129. He will be better when he can settle in behind a stronger pace, and he could be under-rated next time.

5th December 2009