Horses To Follow » Three Chords

Three Chords

Three Chords continued his progression when he won a Class 3 0-135 extended three-mile handicap chase at Fontwell last Sunday. Settled just off the leader Ray Mond, he popped his fences accurately, even when partially unsighted on a couple of occasions. He always travelled well and looked the most likely winner from some way out. He went clear with Bench Warrent approaching the third from home, but it was soon apparent that Three Chords was travelling by far the better. He went three lengths up after the second last round into the straight but stuttered slightly coming to the final fence and jumped it slowly giving Bench Warrent another chance, but the winner was impressive in the way he was able to pick up again under just hand riding after the last on the short run in once Bench Warrent had come back alongside. He probably had a lot more in hand than the winning margin suggests and there were 19 lengths back to third horse Federstar, with Noun De La Thinte and Rustarix, who both brought good solid early season form into this race, even further behind. The time was good too.

Bench Warrent is certainly no mug, and was probably under-rated coming into this race. He has always had the potential to go a fairly long way over fences and despite falling on his two previous outings thus far this term, his confidence did not seem to be unduly affected and you have to believe he gave his running. The fact that he was rated 132 as a novice last season when mixing it with some high class horses, and that Three Chords was able to see him off pretty readily here, suggests Caroline Bailey’s horse is on a steep upward curve. He is hugely progressive, this being just his fifth lifetime start and his second win on the bounce. Clearly held in high regard by his trainer, he can continue to pick up races through the season. He has won on good ground, but his trainer thinks he is at his best with an ease. The handicapper raised him 8lb for this, which is fair and which still leaves him with the potential to out-perform his new mark. He stays three miles well and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

30th January 2011