Horses To Follow » Take The Breeze

Take The Breeze

Take The Breeze took the eye for most of the three miles of the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday. He travelled and jumped really well in midfield, smoothly moving into contention down the back on the final circuit. He made a slight mistake at the third last, the last before the home turn, with the result that From Dawn To Dusk came up on his outside and Harry Skelton had to sit and suffer behind horses around the home turn before he was able to ask him for his effort, by which time Massini’s Maguire had gone for home. He did bridge the gap, against all the odds, and looked the most likely winner when he jumped into a narrow lead over the last (he traded at a low of 1.21 in-running), but the Massini’s Maguire, having his first run for David Pipe, battled back on the far side to win by just over a length.

Take The Breeze still put up a huge run on ground that would have been lively enough for him, a triple winner on heavy ground last season. Nicholls kept Take The Breeze fairly busy last term, anxious to exploit as many testing ground opportunities as he could. He was well fancied for the Arkle after winning his first three chases, but he was exposed as being short of top class over two miles when he could finish only third in the Irish Arkle. Despite his obvious preference for soft ground (although his trainer says that he is fine on good ground over a distance of it), his best effort of last season probably came on his final start in the three-mile-one-furlong Grade 2 Mildmay Novices’ Chase at the Aintree festival when he finished only three and a half lengths behind Burton Port on good ground despite whacking the third last.

Nicholls was very bullish about Take The Breeze’s chance on Saturday before the race, and it was a most encouraging run from a horse who will surely fare better on softer ground later in the winter. It may well be that he is taken over the Irish Sea again this year in pursuit of said ground. Wherever he turns up this winter, he is very much one to note. He should prove most effective in staying chases on soft ground, and he still should be well handicapped on his new mark of 151 given those conditions.

30th October 2010