Horses To Follow » Meanus Dandy

Meanus Dandy

Meanus Dandy put up a really impressive performance to win the three-mile handicap chase at Sandown on Saturday. Settled just behind the leaders in the early stages by Ruby Walsh, as Fresh Air And Fun set a fair pace, as is that one’s wont, the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding’s jumping was really good, especially considering that he was a novice among handicappers. He moved up nicely down the back straight and over the Railway Fences, his jumping taking him there without Ruby having to ask him at all, and the rider actually took a little tug on landing over the last in the back straight to stop him from taking it up too early. He did take it up on landing over the third last, the Pond Fence, flew the second last and went fully six lengths clear before he seemed to idle on the run-in up the hill. It looked like Appleaday might get to him, it looked like he was emptying, but he pulled out more for Ruby when his challenger loomed, he was just idling, and he almost certainly had a fair bit more in hand than the two-length winning margin.

Winner of a point-to-point in April 2008, Meanus Dandy didn’t finish out any of his three races under rules this season. He emptied quite badly at Chepstow in October and again at Kempton in November before he weakened so badly that he was actually was pulled up behind Richard’s Sundance at Exeter in December. Even so, he has always apparently been highly regarded by connections, and it was interesting that part-owner Paul Barber said afterwards that he thought he was suffering from ulcers earlier in the season. He has since been treated, and Barber said that he would have been disappointed if he hadn’t gone close on Saturday. The handicapper will obviously have his say now, but he was racing off a mark of 119 on Saturday, which obviously under-estimated his ability, but he could have a fair bit more in hand than the hike that the handicapper can give him, now that he looks like fulfilling his potential. He is only seven, he has raced just four times under rules now, and he should have significant progression in him. He will be interesting in another staying handicap chase now.

13th March 2010