Horses To Follow » Synchronised


Synchronised was a gutsy winner of the Midland’s National at Uttoxeter last Saturday. The race was run on heavy ground putting a huge emphasis on stamina, and the Jonjo O’Neill-trained gelding had to be stoked along by the champion at a very early stage in the race after doing well to remain upright when Ballydub came down in front of him at the second fence.

He received a couple of reminders after the fourth fence, but he began to travel better and get into a rhythm at the back of the field after that. As the race developed, Synchronised began to make progress through the field to gain a more prominent position. The pace of the race was fairly unrelenting in the conditions, and many of the runners were off the bridle a long way out.

Synchronised began to travel much better and he set out on the final circuit with the leading group. As they moved down the back straight, McCoy had the gelding in the leading group of four and they began to break away as the rest of the field began to wilt.

The mare L’Aventure travelled well for Daryl Jacob as Mark The Book and Giles Cross cracked, and it turned into a duel between the mare and Synchronised as they neared the fourth last. Synchronised had about two lengths to find on L’Aventure but responded to McCoy’s urgings to join the mare over the third last, he got on top between the last two fences and he stayed on well to get the better of L’Aventure on the run-in despite an awkward jump at the last, with the pair of them finishing a distance clear of Giles Cross, who was the only other horse to finish.

This was a resolute performance by JP McManus’s gelding, who is actually still a novice. He would have been among the favourites for the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival had he taken his chance in the race, but his connections considered the ground to be too fast for him on the morning of the race, and the decision was taken to go to Uttoxeter instead, for the easier ground, which he certainly got.

He seems to thrive in these conditions, if any horse does, all his wins have been on soft ground, and the willing attitude that he showed throughout, despite the fact that he was quite badly hampered early in the piece, was most impressive. In winning this, he was becoming the first horse to carry more than eleven stone to victory in a long time. He is still just seven, and will surely have at least one of the Nationals on his radar for next season. The ideal race for him could be the Welsh National at Chepstow in December. He has already won at the track, and he is almost certain to get the testing conditions there in which he thrives.

20th March 2010