Horses To Follow » Moncadou


You couldn’t but be impressed with Moncadou’s jumping in the hunter chase at Fontwell on Sunday. Always up in the van, he moved in behind suspect stayer Murphy’s Cardinal towards the end of the back straight, jumped on over the second last and came right away over the last, where he gave his supporters their only scar, and up the run-in to post an impressive wide-margin win.

It would be dangerous to get too carried away with this, Murphy’s Cardinal is 14 now and clearly didn’t see out the trip, while the waiting tactics were over-exaggerated on runner-up Accumulus. However, Moncadou did it well, and he is an interesting hunter chaser now. An interesting novice chaser three seasons ago when he was trained by Thierry Doumen, he was sent off the 5/1 second favourite for the 2007 Mildmay of Flete at the Cheltenham Festival. He didn’t race after that until, switched to Jonjo O’Neill’s yard, he re-appeared at Chepstow in December 2008 in a good handicap chase in which Herecomesthetruth beat Presenting Copper, and he had a fairly fruitless time of it last season, but he obviously has ability, and he seemed happy to be able to use it on Sunday on his first run in almost 11 months, dropped into hunter chase grade. He is not in the Cheltenham Foxhunters’, but he would be interesting now if he lined up in the Aintree equivalent over the big fences. He unseated his rider early on in the Topham Chase at Aintree last April on his last appearance before Sunday, but he was jumping the big fences well until he got the seventh fence, the big ditch, the third fence on the Grand National course, all wrong and gave Richie McLernon no chance. As a 10-year-old, he is not old for a hunter chaser, and he has raced just 10 times over fences in his life. He is by Cadoudal and all of his best form is on soft ground, but the Grand National course is always softer than the Mildmay and he did run well to finish second in a Class 2 chase on good to soft ground at Newbury a couple of seasons ago. He is interesting.

28th February 2010

© The Irish Field, 6th March 2010