Horses To Follow » Rangefinder


Rangefinder ran a nice race on his seasonal debut and on just his second run for Jane Chapple-Hyam in an unusually good 12-furlong handicap at Catterick on Wednesday. Drawn widest of all in stall nine, Tony Hamilton settled the son of Linamix back from the start, and he raced at the back of the field through the first mile or so. Moved to the outside in the back straight, he circled his field, went widest of all around the home turn and kept on well from well off the pace to finish a running-on fourth behind Trip The Light, Ella and Becausewecan. Catterick is a tight track at which it can be difficult to make ground from the rear, and the first three home in this contest occupied the first three positions from the entrance to the back straight, about a mile from home, so it was to Rangefinder’s credit that he was able to make as much ground as he did, staying on best of all to take fourth, three parts of a length behind Becausewecan in third and just over a length behind the runner-up Ella.

This was a good race. The winner did perform above himself, and is one to note as well – he was ridden by a 7lb claimer who was riding just her second winner and, while she gave him a great ride, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him improve again on this – but the second and third are rock solid, Ella is a progressive mare who was third in the November Handicap last season, was racing off the same mark here and was well backed, while Becausewecan was a really decent front-running handicapper last season, winning a Class 2 event at Newmarket, and he was solid in the market after two runs already this season. Rangefinder joined Luca Cumani’s yard at the start of last season with a fairly decent reputation, having won a couple of handicaps in Italy. He actually started favourite for four of his first five races, but only won one of them, the Hambleton Cup, and 12-furlong contest at Thirsk in September, when he was ridden to the front at the top of the home straight by Richard Hills and stayed on well all the way to the line, appearing to appreciate the easy ground. He was well behind Opinion Poll in a Heritage Handicap at Ascot later that month, and he was well down the field behind Charm School in the November Handicap on his first run for Jane Chapple-Hyam.

This was much more like it, Tony Hamilton wasn’t that hard on him on his seasonal debut, and he can go on from this now. He is by Linamix, so easy ground is probably important to him, but he should be able to stay further than this 12-furlong trip on this evidence. The handicapper can’t be too hard on him, and his current mark of 88 looks like a mark off which he can win. He is interesting again now.

7th April 2010