Horses To Follow » Any Given Day

Any Given Day

Any Given Day ran a peculiar sort of race in the Grade 2 Unicoin Homes Relkeel Hurdle over the extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on Saturday. He looked likely to finish last as they went down the back straight as his jumping was very indifferent, and he was being shoved along from a long way out, but he picked up nicely from the top of the hill and came there to win the race soon after turning in, coming upsides Karabak and briefly taking it up after the last, only to be out-gunned by the highly talented Alan King-trained horse up the hill.

Any Given Day made up a remarkable amount of ground coming from last to take it up in little more than half a mile, and it may well be that he had to make up slightly too much ground in that space of time, coming six horses wide into the straight, and didn’t quite have enough energy left to go past Karabak. That said, Karabak did appear to be idling, he picked up again once Any Given Day loomed upsides, he was probably value for more than the winning margin, but he is a high class performer, and there was no disgrace in going down by less than two lengths to that rival at level weights (he was officially rated 11lb superior). Any Given Day clearly stays very well himself and will be better on softer ground or over further.

This was the third really good run in a row from the Donald McCain-trained gelding; he was an impressive winner of the Listed Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow on soft ground over two and a half miles before running a cracker for a long way in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham, just lacking the pace of the front three late on. He is a nicely progressive sort and he could develop into a useful staying hurdler now. He is five rising six and, while five-year-olds struggle in the staying hurdling division (no five-year-old has ever won the World Hurdle), six-year-olds do okay (that age ground have won four of the last 10 renewals of the World Hurdle). If he continues this progression, he is more than capable of winning a graded hurdle over two and a half miles or more, and he will be interesting when he is stepped up to three miles.

11th December 2010