Horses To Follow » Fiendish Flame

Fiendish Flame

While Safari Journey destroyed the field in the Listed Byrne Group Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday, Fiendish Flame did really well to keep on for second place. He was taken on for the lead continually by King Edmund, which wouldn’t have helped his chances, he had to race one off the rail throughout, nor would the fact that he jumped to his left. This was strange given that he had tended to jump to his right at left-handed tracks. Maybe Donald McCain has overdone the correction tactics. His jumping allowed King Edmund up his inside going around every turn, which wasn’t ideal as he was forced wider than Brian Harding would have wanted, yet he did really well to hold off the rest of the pack for second place, having looked likely to be swallowed up coming to the second last, albeit a remote second behind Safari Journey.

This represented a good step up on his seasonal debut over timber at Bangor where he was quite badly outpaced in the last half-mile. He showed here in holding on for second, having set a brisk early pace, that he has reserves of stamina. He has won over two miles five furlongs on heavy ground over hurdles and over two and a half miles over fences, and he finished second over two miles six. His sixth place finish in the Jewson last season was probably a fair marker of his ability and he should be able to win races this season with two and a half possibly proving to be his optimum trip. He should be able to win a decent handicap off his current mark of 140, ideally over two and a half miles, with no other confirmed front-runner, and probably at a left-handed track.

30th October 2010