Horses To Follow » Alfie Spinner

Alfie Spinner

Alfie Spinner produced a nice effort to finish second to Mobaasher in a three-mile-one-furlong handicap hurdle at Warwick on Saturday. The Nick Williams-trained gelding led early on over the first four flights, but he was joined firstly by South O’The Border before the fifth hurdle and then by County Zen by the time they set out of their second circuit. These three disputed the lead, but it was Alfie Spinner who was still travelling the best on the turn for home. He fought off the challenge of County Zen on the way to the second last, but he was joined by the staying-on Mobaasher from here, who then went a couple of lengths up at the last. Nick Williams’s horse did fight back in determined style but he just couldn’t get to Mobaasher who held on by just under two lengths, with Sangfroid back in third and the front three clear of their field.

This was a nice effort from Alfie Spinner on his first start over a three-mile-plus trip. He has a nice progressive profile now, he is still only a six-year-old and this was only his eighth start over hurdles. He was probably just a bit unlucky to bump into Mobaasher here. Venetia Williams’s horse looked fairly well-handicapped on his best form from two seasons ago, when he was good enough to take his place in the World Hurdle. The front three finished clear, and it’s also worth noting that the two that finished up with Alfie Spinner were both held up off the pace, while the son of Alflora may have been slightly disadvantaged by being in the front rank from flagfall.

He looked like a useful sort last year, he did well to finish fourth in a Grade 3 novices’ handicap hurdle at Sandown, having previously beaten the useful Majaales on his run prior to that at Newbury. He handled this heavy ground well, but he also has form on better ground. It will be interesting to see where Nick Williams sends him next, and a 3lb hike from the handicapper is not harsh.

15th January 2011