Horses To Follow » Mr Gardner

Mr Gardner

There was a lot to like about the performance that Mr Gardner put up on his first run since March 2009 in a two-mile-five-furlong novice chase at Huntingdon. He was making his debut over fences here, but you wouldn’t have thought that given the quality of his jumping, which was fairly flawless throughout, with some spectacular leaps on the way round. He was always going well and even before the straight it looked like he had this in the bag, with his only serious rival Patsy Finnegan treading water in behind. He did jump the last two fences steadily and slightly to his left, but he was way out in front on his own at that stage. It was a more than impressive performance.

The last time we saw Mr Gardner prior to this, in March 2009, he was beating Fistral Beach by 32 lengths in a maiden hurdle at Newbury. He was impressive that day, he set a good pace and he pulled away from his rivals fairly easily in what looked even at the time like an above average maiden hurdle. A tendon injury had kept him out since, but this was a really pleasing return. Although he only really had two rivals to beat, he beat them well and he clocked a good time, eight seconds faster than the handicap chase run over the same distance an hour earlier.

It is early days at this stage, but it would be hard not to get excited about this son of Deploy. He was bought from Ireland by his powerful connections after he won a point-to-point on his debut at The Pigeons by a distance, so the chances are that he was always going to make a chaser. Three miles should suit him well, and he has now won on soft and good ground. It will be very interesting to see where he turns up next.

14th January 2011