Horses To Follow » Nadiya De La Vega

Nadiya De La Vega

Although perhaps not as immediately impressive as she had been on her British debut at Warwick in mid-November, there was a lot to like about Nadiya De La Vega’s performance in winning the Class 2 two-mile novice chase on Saturday’s Kempton card. She travelled and jumped well, and found plenty when Pepe Simo challenged, despite making a bad blunder at the second last and Barry Geraghty having to ride without an iron over the last and up the run-in.

The five-year-old popped her fences accurately early on and was very quick and athletic over the fourth and fifth when asked. Despite making a mistake at the second down the back straight, she quickened into the third last and got away from it well before hitting the second last hard and having to show real tenacity and guts to win. She was getting all the age and sex allowances, but Pepe Simo is a good horse and she beat him with more in hand than the winning margin, with the pair of them a long way clear.

She didn’t look great beforehand; she had run up light and was sweating freely prior to the off but that clearly didn’t stop her. She should do even better stepped up in trip, and the Jewson Chase is a realistic option now, where she will get the 7lb mares’ allowance. Interestingly, the Totesport Trophy was mentioned in dispatches after this race, a race in which she would be an attractive proposition off a mark of 134. Her rating over fences is sure to be significantly higher.

15th January 2011