Horses To Follow » Ogee


Ogee ran a cracking race to finish third in the William hill Trophy at Cheltenham on Tuesday. Tracking the leaders toward the inside early on in the race, he jumped the first two fences well with plenty of racing room but then made a mistake at the third and then a more serious error at the fifth. He travelled well enough, however, and he was back into a rhythm at the next few fences, his jumping improved and he travelled well as they bypassed the ditch at the top of the hill. Then, having taken it up on the run to the second last, a bad mistake at that obstacle just when he needed to jump well left him three lengths behind. He was galvanised by his rider and began to pick up again on as they met the rising ground. He closed in on Chief Dan George to lead jumping the last, and looked a likely winner, but, as they met the rising ground, the earlier mistakes Ogee made began to take their toll and he was passed by Chief Dan George and the fast-finishing The Package.

This was still a really good run by Ogee, considering he had made two serious errors, and the William Hill is one of the most competitive staying handicaps of the season. The Renee Robeson-trained gelding had been kept to flat tracks throughout his career connections were not apparently keen to run him on the undulations of Cheltenham. It is particularly impressive that he ran so well at a track that probably didn’t suit, and that he battled on so well after two serious mistakes. He has been a model of consistency for his small time trainer reaching the frame in his last 14 starts. He has an obvious liking for good ground and a flat track. He was rated at 145 over hurdles but he looks an even better chaser, he is still improving in his first season jumping fences, he is only seven, he has now raced just five times over fences, he has a nice progressive profile and a rating of 142, just a 5lb hike for this performance, probably under-estimates his ability considerably. His jumping can let him down, but a return to a flat track should help that significantly. He will be of big interest at Aintree, where he sprung a 25/1 shock in the Sefton Hurdle last year.

16th March 2010