Horses To Follow » Rare Bob

Rare Bob

There was enough about the performance of Rare Bob, when finishing eighth in the three-mile-two-furlong handicap chase won by Midnight Chase at Cheltenham on Friday, to suggest that he could be a horse for a big handicap chase this season. He was weak in the market beforehand here, but he travelled and jumped well for Paddy Flood, who held him up towards the inside throughout. He was a bit awkward at the fence before they came down the hill, but he was still travelling as well as anything when they began the descent. His challenge did peter away tamely as soon as they came to the home turn, but it was a respectable performance all the same.

Rare Bob could be on an attractive mark of 145 considering he was a Grade 1 winner as a novice and given that he was well-supported favourite for the Irish Grand National two seasons ago. The son of Bob Back shaped with a degree of promise when third behind Glencove Marina and Notre Pere on his previous run at Thurles on his seasonal debut. This was another promising run, and there could be a good prize in him now off this mark.

He stays well, and he seems to be happy on good ground or on soft. It could be that Dessie Hughes has the English Grand National in mind for him, after the trainer went so close to winning it last season with Black Apalachi, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Dessie Hughes protected his handicap mark now. The last two Grand National winners were rated higher than 145.

10th December 2010