Horses To Follow » Woolcombe Folly

Woolcombe Folly

Woolcombe Folly was impressive in the way he quickly put the Class 2 two-mile chase, the Carey Group Handicap Chase, to bed in the home straight at Ascot on Saturday. Settled on the outside in rear under Paul Nicholls’s stand-in jockey Noel Fehily, he jumped really well, often making ground at his fences. Still travelling well leaving the side of the course, he made progress five horses wide around the home turn and quickly pulled three lengths clear after the second last. Despite running down the last fence, he really asserted on the run-in to win by a clear-cut five lengths under just a hands and heels ride.

He was considered good enough to run in the Arkle last season, and is now a very interesting horse for this term. Described as a ‘lovely prospect for two-mile chases’ by his trainer in a stable tour at the start of the season, it would be no surprise to see him in graded races before too long, especially now the handicapper has raised him 12lb for this performance to a mark of 154. Interestingly Nicholls also said after the race that he expects his horse to be even better back on a left-handed track, which makes sense, given that he jumped a little to his left here.

While it would not be wise to get too carried away with this victory given that two of those prominent in the market, Cockney Trucker and King Edmund, made bad blunders that ended their chances (Cockney Trucker was pulled up early after not jumping well at all), it is hard to get away from the manner of Woolcombe Folly’s victory. He remains interesting.

20th November 2010