Horses To Follow » Predictive


It is probable that the performance that Predictive put up in landing the two-and-three-quarter-mile novices’ hurdle at Uttoxeter on Saturday will be under-rated. It was just a Class 4 contest run on atrocious ground at the Staffordshire venue, so bad that the track had to pass two morning inspections and two flights of hurdles were omitted, and Predictive was allowed a fairly easy lead by his rivals. However, there was a lot to like about the performance. For starters, the manner of it was impressive. The near-white son of Smadoun did have an easy lead, but he jumped really well, travelled well, wound it up gradually from the front and had all of his rivals in big trouble by the time they reached the end of the back straight. He jumped the third last apparently full of running and galloped on well over the last two flights, sticking his head out to win impressively. Secondly, the form of the race looks solid. Scriptwriter chased him home (15 length adrift with the pair of them clear), he was the only horse to even get close and, while the ground wouldn’t have been ideal for him, he did run well on his previous start, also on soft ground, to chase home the talented Peddlers Cross in the Grade 2 Rossington Main Hurdle at Haydock in January. Also, the time of the race was impressive, the fastest comparative time of the day by some way and almost bang on Racing Post par.

Predictive’s last nine runs have now been at Uttoxeter, he has never finished out of the first four at the track, he hasn’t been out of the first two now in his last five starts, and he continues to be progressive. On his penultimate run before Saturday, his first run in a year, he finished second to the useful Alan King horse Chamirey, who beat subsequent Aon Chase winner and current Grand National favourite Tricky Trickster in a novices’ hurdle two starts later, and he won his maiden hurdle impressively on his last start before Saturday. The 12-month break has obviously done him good, he has now picked up the winning thread, and he can go on from this now. Saturday’s performance was almost certainly a career-best, and he should continue to progress. Hopefully his next run will also be at Uttoxeter on soft ground, and this two-mile-six-and-a-half-furlong trip seems to suit him better than the two-mile-four-and-a-half-furlong trip. As outlines above, he will probably be under-rated next time.

20th February 2010