Horses To Follow » Teaforthree


There was a good performance put up by Rebecca Curtis’s Teaforthree in winning a three-mile novice chase at Chepstow on Saturday, and one for which he possibly hasn’t been given due credit. He was ridden prominently by AP McCoy, he jumped best of all out in front, he measured his fences well, and he was good the few times that he got in too close. AP asked him to pick up at the top of the home straight, and he put in an injection of pace that stretched the jumping of his nearest rivals Restless Harry and Cannington Brook, those two both making bad mistakes at the fourth last, and Teaforthree stayed on well all the way to the line to see off Restless Harry by three and a half lengths with a further 12 lengths back to Cannington Brook in third.

The Oscar gelding was a useful staying novice hurdler last season. After finishing second to Sonofvic on his hurdling debut at Chepstow, he won at Ffos Las before going on to finish a close up third behind Mossley in a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham in December. He ended the season with an eighth of 18 to Bobs Worth in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham and a rating of 138.

A point-to-point winner, he is bred to be a chaser and it looks like he is going to be better over fences than he was over hurdles. He probably just needed his first run of the season when third to Ace High in a beginners’ chase here at Chepstow in October, and he duly built on that to finish right in the mix in a good novice chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting. That race was won by Join Together, with Restless Harry third, Viking Blond fourth and Saint Are fifth.

Teaforthree beat Restless Harry by further here than he had on their previous runs at Cheltenham, this despite the fact that Robin Dickin’s horse jumped better here than he had at Cheltenham, and Rebecca Curtis’s horse looks to be progressing really nicely over fences. He clocked a time that was over four seconds faster than that recorded by Le Beau Bai in the Class 2 handicap chase later on the card, and he is clearly well suited to testing conditions, it was officially heavy here. The others couldn’t live with his injection of pace four out. He is more than an out and out stayer, he does look classy.

He is reportedly being aimed at the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham now, and the way he galloped all the way to the line to win this suggests that that four-mile trip could be within his range. Having jumped around Cheltenham already, he could be well suited to that race, and any cut in the ground would improve his chances. Longer term it could be the plan to come back to Chepstow for next year’s Welsh National, as soft ground around here could be ideal for him.

3rd December 2011