Horses To Follow » Prince Louis

Prince Louis

Prince Louis ran a nice race on his first start for Charlie Mann and his first run for almost a year to finish second to Celian in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Huntingdon on Saturday. Kicked off in fifth place of the seven runners, Peter Toole was obviously keen to settle the son of Cyborg through the early stages, presumably mindful of his lengthy absence and the consequent probability that he would race keenly, but he pulled and jumped his way to the front after they had jumped three fences. He settled a little better in front, but he still raced keenly, ears pricked, and he jumped continually to his left, sometimes quite markedly, forsaking plenty of ground on this tight enough right-handed track. Even with that, he was able to stretch his rivals right out going down the back straight, still jumping well but consistently out to his left. He was still cruising in front going over the last fence on the far side, but he was well out to his left again there, which allowed the ridden-along Celian through on his inside. He kept on well from there up the home straight and over the last and, while it never looked like he was going to get to the winner, there was still a lot to like about the manner in which he stuck to his task.

This was the most encouraging display that Prince Louis has put in since coming to the UK. The winner Celian is a really useful sort, a progressive potentially well-handicapped individual who was well-backed, and the front pair pulled well clear of their rivals. A useful enough performer in France, where he finished second in a bumper and in a hurdle race, Prince Louis was pulled up in all three of his runs over hurdles for Milton Harris last season. He has obviously had his problems, as his absence and switch of stables suggests, but Charlie Mann has obviously found some key to him. This was his first chase, he has just turned seven, and there could be significant improvement in him. On this evidence, he will be much better suited by going left-handed. There was a lot to like about the way that he travelled and jumped here, he should be better next time when he shouldn’t be so keen with this run under his belt, and he will be of interest if he races left-handed next time.

16th January 2010