Horses To Follow » Woolcombe Folly

Woolcombe Folly

Put up here after he won at Ascot on his previous start, Woolcombe Folly put up another huge run in the Class 2 Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase, stepping up again on what he had done at Ascot. Racing off top weight of 11st 12lb less Ryan Mahon’s 5lb claim, having been raised 12lb for the smooth Ascot win, he again put in a round of accurate leaps, and proved, crucially, that he can handle Cheltenham (he had run below par on both his previous runs here, although he did win on one occasion). He travelled well again here and picked up nicely to catch and pass Tanks For That who made a bold bid from some way out, sealing victory with a super leap at the last, before going on to win by six lengths with the runner-up pulling 14 lengths clear of the rest himself. Interestingly the time he clocked was actually quicker than the time that Master Minded clocked in the Tingle Creek chase later on the card carrying exactly the same weight; the pace was just as honest in the Tingle Creek too courtesy of I’m So Lucky and Petit Robin.

Put up a further 15lb for this win, Woolcombe Folly is now right up there with the best two-mile chasers around. Paul Nicholls said afterwards that he could well go for the Game Spirit at Newbury next time, which makes sense as he will probably need a short break having run two tremendously quick runs back-to-back. Suited by a strongly-run race – he wears a cross noseband, often a sign that a horse can take a pull – he is a live contender for the Champion Chase now.

11th December 2010