Horses To Follow » Oh Crick

Oh Crick

The Alan King-trained Oh Crick ran his best race for some time when running on to finish a close-up third behind Cornas in a really competitive two-mile handicap chase at Sandown on Saturday. He jumped much better than he has of late, although he wasn’t perfect over the railway fences where he did lose his place slightly. Robert Thornton bided his time trying to get back into it, making ground round the outside into the straight, but Cornas had rather got away by then. Nevertheless Oh Crick stayed on strongly from the second last to nearly grab second place from Tchico Polos, who is a very good horse on his day, winner of the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter earlier in the season. Cornas is no mug himself despite being the outsider of the nine-strong field, having finished fourth in the Grand Annual last season and winning a Grade 3 at Limerick on his return this term.

This was a much better effort from Oh Crick, who had shown little on his two previous runs this season. The ground was too soft for him here too, he is probably best on a good surface but he did have the fast pace he required, courtesy of Fiendish Flame. There was a definite sign of a return to form and he may be one to catch next time on better ground off a fast pace. He remains on a mark of 145 after this, 15lb lower than his peak just five runs ago, and has only just turned eight. He really burst onto the scene in the Spring of 2009, winning the Grand Annual at the Festival and following up in the Red Rum Chase at Aintree three weeks later. He will be interesting again in either or both of those contests.

8th January 2011