Horses To Follow » Chef


Chef created a very favourable impression when winning a Class 2 three-year-old handicap over a mile at Doncaster on Saturday. The slow early pace wouldn’t have been in his favour, he was quite keen early on, and then he found himself having to sit and wait for a gap for half a furlong to the quarter-mile post. This allowed Mubtadi to begin his challenge and build some momentum down the outside, and he went into a half-length lead entering the final furlong. Chef quickened up nicely when in the clear, however, and fought on well to get the better of his well-backed rival, the pair of them swiftly pulling a fair way clear of the rest, with nearly four lengths back to the third horse, the well-fancied Shamdarley, at the line. The front two are patently good horses to come from well back off a moderate gallop and pull so far clear, but it is Chef, having just his third start, who looks the better prospect.

Admittedly the Andrew Balding yard is in very good nick at the moment, but the Selkirk gelding really impressed in winning this race. He was a winner of his only start at two, a seven-furlong Salisbury maiden, where he had to race on the outside of the field and showed a good attitude to keep on against a rival with experience, having been in front for over a furlong. He was entered in the Racing Post Trophy and the Derby, so it seems like he has always gone well at home. Allowed to take his chance in the £250,000 Tattersalls Millions Trophy over 10 furlongs at Newmarket on his return, he was an eye-catcher when acquitting himself well in a messy race, running on nicely under tender handling to finish sixth, in a race in which the form has since been boosted by the front five, not least the fifth, Together, who has gone on to finish a close second in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas. Chef ran on strongly in that well-run contest, but clearly has enough pace for a mile given how well he quickened up here. As such, and given that he has only gone up 6lb for this win, he could well be a Britannia horse at the Royal Meeting. A fast-run mile on fast ground should suit him ideally. He is one to note wherever he goes though.

4th June 2011