Horses To Follow » West End Rocker

West End Rocker

Despite it being his first run for just under a year, West End Rocker jumped fluently throughout before landing the Coolmation Handicap Chase, a Class 3 0-130 contest, over three miles one and a half furlongs at Newbury on Wednesday. Settled in the mid-division, he was constantly jumping closer at every obstacle. Even when he got in too close he was able to flick over the fence athletically without forfeiting ground. His fencing took him right up to front rank down the back, and he took it up coming round the home turn, plenty early enough. He had to battle when Cornish Sett came to him, but was probably just idling as he stuck his neck out and went on again when that one came to him, giving the impression there was plenty left in the tank.

This was a competitive handicap chase and the time was a good one, strengthening the merit of West End Rocker’s performance. He was a promising novice chaser who lost his way last season, but a lot of the Alan King horses were out of sorts last season and you can forgive him that. He could be a well-handicapped horse now, especially since he has only gone up 4lb for this win, which looks decidedly lenient. King said afterwards that he will enter him in the Grand National, and that race looks spot on for him considering how well he jumped here. Rising nine (he is the ideal age for the National), hopefully he will go on from this (King also said that he wouldn’t rush him back to the track), and improve upon the promise of his novice days. This good ground suits him well and he is a lively outsider for the National even at this early stage.

15th December 2010