Horses To Follow » Ouzbeck


Ouzbeck ran a strange sort of race in the handicap chase at Cheltenham last Friday over three miles and half a furlong. He didn’t jump that well through the early stages, looking slightly sketchy at some of his fences on his first run for four months, his first since winning the Summer National at Uttoxeter in June off a mark of 142. Upped to 149 here, despite his jumping not being foot perfect, he was still seemingly travelling well when he started to lose a little ground down the far side on the final circuit. He got even further behind turning down the hill despite his jockey Jack Doyle not seeming outwardly perturbed. It is hard to say how far he was behind watching the replays because he was way out of range of the cameras, but he made up a huge amount of ground from the bottom of the hill to finish a staying-on third, under 12 lengths behind the impressive winner Midnight Chase who is a useful performer around Cheltenham.

Admittedly Meanus Dandy in fourth does not seem to see out his races and Calgary Bay appeared to either blow up or fail to stay, but Ouzbeck breezed past them on the run in. It may well be that Ouzbeck himself was not fully wound up for this run as he will have much bigger targets later in the season, and the three miles of this contest would be some way below his optimum. He looks like a Scottish National horse in the long term, and that race is apparently his aim. The four miles of that race will be ideal as will the fact that he should have his favoured good ground. If he managed to get into a rhythm with his jumping round Ayr he could be very dangerous as he is a horse with a winning attitude, having been victorious in 10 of his 28 lifetime starts and been placed just three times.

15th October 2010