Horses To Follow » Regal Heights

Regal Heights

Although it was only a veterans’ chase, there was a lot to like about the performance that Regal Heights put up in winning the three-and-a-quarter-mile contest at Newbury on Saturday, and he could still be worth following even as a 10-year-old. They went a fairly good gallop, thanks to Alderburn who went out in front and built up a decent lead through the early stages. Regal Heights had travelled well enough through the first part of the race, but Paddy Brennan had to usher him along relatively early, just as soon as when they entered the back straight. He was never far away though and he responded well to his rider’s urgings to take up a more prominent position at the cross fence. The son of Grand Plaisir still looked like he had a fair bit to do in the straight, he was six lengths off Alderburn at the fourth last, but he seemed to find an extra gear jumping the second last fence, and he really got going to eventually collar Alderburn on the run in, posting a good time in the process.

Although now in the latter stages of his career, Regal Heights looks like he is in the form of his life and it will be interesting to see where he goes next. He did well to win here, he was under pressure from a long way out, but he showed a willing attitude to get there, and it is significant that he did stay on really well, as there were doubts about his stamina coming into this. He had been well beaten each time he had run over a trip of three miles or more, so the fact that he won this over three miles and two and a half furlongs opens more options to him now. The handicapper has had his say, raising him 6lb raise to a mark 130, but Tom George’s gelding was a 150-rated horse only two seasons ago, when he chased Denman home, albeit fairly remotely, in the Grade 2 Aon Chase at Newbury and won a good handicap chase at Ascot previously to that. There could be more to come from him now over this longer trip, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he stayed even further than this.

5th March 2011