Horses To Follow » Secret World

Secret World

Secret World is a very interesting recruit to hurdles, and judged by his run when just edged out in a novices’ hurdle over two miles at Newbury last Saturday, is very much a horse to watch this season. The steady early pace was always going to be against this former classy flat horse, and he did take a pull early on. The pace picked up down the back and it was soon clear that Secret World was taking well to hurdling as he was jumping fluently and travelling sweetly just behind the front two. Act Of Kalanisi showed his inexperience over timber when running around coming to the second last but Secret World was not put off and was still on the bit approaching the last. He went on after jumping the final flight but could not get more than three quarters of a length up on Act Of Kalanisi and Barry Geraghty soon had to get pretty serious with him. Ultimately he was just out-battled late on by Dr Richard Newland’s horse.

Even though he didn’t quite keep his head in front here, this was a most encouraging first run over timber from Nicky Henderson’s inmate. He is not your typical recruit to jumping, a half-brother to a Derby second out of an Irish 1000 Guineas winner who was rated as high as 111 on the flat in the summer of 2007 after his fine fourth in the Lockinge Stakes. This run was full of merit considering it was his first for nearly two and a half years, while the winner was race-fit from the flat this summer, and the third-placed horse Dona, the favourite, had won over hurdles a couple of weeks previously. Following that win Dona was raised to a mark of 125. If we believe that he ran to that level here, then the front two have run to high marks on their first starts over hurdles as, although Dona was conceding 5lb to them, he was nine lengths adrift at the finish.

Act Of Kalanisi has the scope to be a useful novice hurdler, but given the way Secret World travelled and jumped through this race it is hard not to imagine him turning out to be the better prospect. He will be better on better ground and it is interesting that Henderson started him off in this race, the same one that he won with the potentially top-class Finian’s Rainbow last year, and one which is often a decent contest.

27th November 2010