Horses To Follow » As De Fer

As De Fer

As De Fer notched up his second win since coming over from France in a Class 3 handicap chase at Exeter on Sunday over half a furlong short of two and a half miles. Mud Monkey made this a real test at the trip and that would have suited this French recruit who had won over slightly further at Ffos Las on his previous run, but really that only heightened his dominance as he was much the best-handicapped horse in the race.

His jumping wasn’t foot perfect, he got in too close to several of his fences but almost every time he did so he was actually quick away from the fence and soon back travelling well. Indeed he was very quick away from the last two down the back straight which took him right up to join Mud Monkey out in front. He cruised through on the inside turning in as the race hotted up, jumped the four up the straight well and drew four and a half lengths clear of Requin with long gaps between the rest.

This was a good handicap and As De Fer travelled well the whole way. Requin had been well backed but was readily brushed aside after the last, while the third and fourth, Or Bleu and Inside Dealer, are both useful sorts, particularly round here, who had been in good form. None of them were a match for Anthony Honeyball’s horse here.

Despite being 12lb higher here than for his Ffos Las win, As De Fer came clear impressively when Sam Thomas asked him to go on on the run-in. The handicapper gave him another 10lb for this, but he is only five and this was just his second run over fences in the UK, just his third in all. He should be able to progress again and is very much worth keeping on side, especially as there is still room for improvement in his jumping.

13th February 2011