Horses To Follow » Bench Warrent

Bench Warrent

Bench Warrent may be worth another chance despite another fall on his most recent start in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on Saturday. Charlie Mann’s horse was up there with the main protagonists for most of the way. He jumped and travelled well enough, and he was still bang there with a chance going down the back before they reached the straight. He took a crashing fall at the fifth last, before he was asked to pick up, when at the very least he had a decent chance of making the frame.

The chances are that Bench Warrent will still be well under the radar after this run. It looked as if Peter Toole was just trying to get a breather into the son of Witness Box, and although it’s difficult to conclude that he would have gone close to winning, he may well have been thereabouts at the end, in what was obviously a highly competitive staying handicap chase.

Bench Warrent is a progressive-looking horse now, this was only his sixth ever start over fences. He did fall on his previous run to this as well, but that was very tired fall on his seasonal debut at Fontwell. He did quite well as a novice over fences last season, he won on his debut quite impressively, before going on to run well enough behind Burton Port in a Grade 2 novice chase at Lingfield in December. The softer the better for Bench Warrent, and he needs a distance of ground to be seen at his best. He is in a three-mile chase at Fakenham this Sunday, but he would need the ground to come up very soft in order for him to be effective over that trip. If it came up soft for something like the Eider Chase, he would be of big interest. Providing he remains unscathed after his fall here, he deserves another chance. The handicapper has dropped him 1lb, which is a nice bonus.

8th January 2011