Horses To Follow » For Non Stop

For Non Stop

For Non Stop produced a nice effort to finish second to Grands Crus in a competitive two-mile-and-five-furlong handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday. The Nick Williams-trained gelding held a prominent position throughout for Daryl Jacob, and eventually took up the running with a good jump at the sixth hurdle. He was still travelling well in front when they came down the hill, but he was tracked all the while by Grands Crus, who seemed to be going equally well and who took it up before the straight. For Non Stop had no answer to the winner’s burst, but there was a lot to like about the way he kept on in second place, with a further 11 lengths back to King’s Legacy in third. It looked at one stage that Grands Crus would run out a really easy winner, but the winning margin was only six lengths in the end.

This performance from For Non Stop looked good at the time, but it looks even better now in the light of Grands Crus’s easy win in a valuable handicap hurdle at Haydock six days later under a 6lb penalty. David Pipe’s horse was entitled to win there, but he did so, impressively, powering clear of some nice horses, and he looks to be progressing at a very fast rate. For Non Stop looks like a progressive sort himself, he did well to stay with Grands Crus for as long as he did, the pair of them coming clear, and there is surely more to come from him. The son of Alderbrook showed some ability in novice hurdles last season, but he has obviously improved a lot over the summer. He has only had five starts over hurdles, and there was a lot to like about the way he won his previous race, his seasonal debut, a two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Chepstow, where he travelled really strongly throughout the race and won very easily.

Nick Williams’s horse is still only a five-year-old, he has the look of a typical second-season progressive hurdler that could go right through the ranks and he may be a bit under the radar compared to Grands Crus, at this stage. The handicapper raised him 10lb for this, but even that may prove to be lenient, especially given that Grands Crus is now rated 32lb higher than he was then. He will be of interest if he takes his chance in the Ladbroke Hurdle, even though he would be stepping back down in trip, and he should be one to keep on side for the remainder of the season, including back at the Cheltenham Festival in March, where the Coral Cup could be the race for him. The fact that he is still a novice means that he has plenty of options.

13th November 2010