Horses To Follow » Noble Alan

Noble Alan

Noble Alan was in the progress of running a huge race in the Vote A.P. Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday when he came down at the third last. Having been held up on the inside, he was making progress coming down the hill and had just latched himself onto the lead group, still yet to be asked for his effort, when he tipped up at the downhill fence. He was travelling well at the time, and, while we cannot be sure he would have fully stayed the trip, it is not unreasonable to assume he would have gone close. His only other run over two and a half miles came in an Ayr novice chase last season when he was sent off at 1/6 and had to do little more than an exercise gallop to win so it is impossible to tell how well he would have stayed up the hill had he remained on his feet, although his full brother Full House won the Ascot Stakes over two and a half miles on the flat as well as three times at the distance over fences, so it could well be that Noble Alan can stay this trip in this sort of race.

The Nicky Richards-trained grey has always had ability; he won the Scottish Champion Hurdle as a six-year-old on just his sixth run over hurdles before going novice chasing last year, winning three small races in the north. He was found out when sent to Aintree for the Grade 1 Maghull Novice Chase but was probably still a bit immature and lacked experience over fences. He has returned to the track in good form this season, just blowing up on his first start at Kempton before winning a good little limited handicap chase at Kelso, then finishing third in a decent race at Ascot behind the rapidly improving Woolcombe Folly. He is worth another try over two and a half miles, and he remains a very interesting chaser off this mark of 143.

11th December 2010