Horses To Follow » My Shamwari

My Shamwari

My Shamwari ran a much better race than his finishing position of fifth, beaten over 13 lengths, in the three-mile-one-and-a-half-furlong handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday suggests. He travelled well, possibly even a little too enthusiastically on his first try at this sort of trip, and he moved up stylishly at the top of the hill, some fluent hurdling taking him closer. He did get in a little tight to both the third last and second last flights, but he was still going well at the bottom of the hill, his rider had a look around him turning for home. He was squeezed out between rivals and had to switch inside just before the last, and then he just emptied, and was re-passed by Raslan up the hill. He was still a long way clear of the rest though, and this was a perfectly encouraging start to his season.

He travels and jumps with such zest that there was always a chance that this sort of trip was always going to stretch him, and he should be better dropped back in trip now. He was progressive at the end of last season, winning on his final two appearances, both at around two and a half miles, and that is probably his best trip.

That is not to say that My Shamwari will not get three miles in time, this was, after all, his first run of the season and he was entitled to need it at least a little, especially over this far, and the overnight rain had seemingly got into the hurdles course more than the chase course, the times on the hurdles course were slower than those on the chase course on the day, and My Shamwari does seem to be at his best on good ground, all his three wins have come on a sound surface. The suspicion is, though, that he will prove best back slightly in trip, and he could be quite well handicapped, he certainly wasn’t hit too hard for a comfortable success at Cheltenham in April where he beat King’s Legacy. A mark of 129 should not be beyond him, particularly when the Hobbs yard is in better form – with the exception of Fingal Bay, most of the yard’s runners were disappointing over the three days at Cheltenham, the other 13 mustering just one placed effort between them. He remains interesting.

12th November 2011