Horses To Follow » Woolcombe Folly

Woolcombe Folly

Although disappointing on the face of it on his first run in all-aged graded company, Woolcombe Folly deserves another chance after the Queen Mother Champion Chase. He got squeezed out of things at the top of the hill after a slow jump there and found himself behind in a tactical race, not where you wanted to be (the winner Sizing Europe had taken it up a long way out and the second Big Zeb moved up into a challenging position at the third last). A desperate mistake at the second last put the final nail in his chance.

He had been mightily impressive in winning a handicap off 154 at the December meeting at Cheltenham in a fast time, a faster time than Master Minded clocked in winning the Tingle Creek Chase over the same course and distance later on the card, so his poor showing here cannot be put down to an inability to handle the track (he disappointed in the Arkle last season, but that came on the back of just one chase start and a poor preparation). He did miss his intended prep for the Champion Chase, the Game Spirit at Newbury, after coughing the week before and it may well be that he came into this race slightly short. Of course, it may well be that he is not up to this level as the horse that he beat in that December race, Tanks For That, the pair of them clear of the rest, disappointed when fancied for the Grand Annual last week, but he got very worked up beforehand and went off far too freely, and Woolcombe Folly made a deep impression in beating him well. He may well be overlooked now next time out, but he deserves another chance to prove he is up to the top level.

16th March 2011