Horses To Follow » Roudoudou Ville

Roudoudou Ville

Roudoudou Ville ran a cracker in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday, proving that he was up to this grade despite being 8lb higher than he was when he won at Sandown on his previous run.

Victor Dartnall’s horse was always prominent, he jumped really quickly over the first few fences, but Andrew Glassonbury was happy to take a pull after that and sit in third place behind Great Endeavour and Salut Flo. He moved up alongside Salut Flo at the first fence down the back straight with another good jump, but he jumped into the back of Great Endeavour when that one made a desperate mistake a couple of fences later. Glassonbury took two fences to get his right iron back after he had been thrown forward up the horses neck, the horse popped over the next fence nimbly with Glassonbury having only one iron, and then bounded on to the front with enthusiasm.

Roudoudou Ville was nearly four lengths clear around the home turn after Salut Flo had pitched badly on landing over the third last, Glassonbury had a look around at the bottom of the hill, and after a quick jump at the second last, he looked by far the most likely winner. He traded at 1.16 in-running after landing over the last, but just appeared to idle on the run-in, and was run down by Quantitativeeasing and Medermit. If he had been able to sit in behind a leader for longer, he might well have won, so Great Endeavour’s mistake was no help to him at all as, not only did it hamper him quite badly, it also meant that he was in front a couple of fences later, when Great Endeavour may well have taken him quite a long way into the race had he jumped cleanly.

A 5lb rise to a mark of 150 will make things tougher for Roudoudou Ville, but he could have been raised even more, and he remains hugely progressive, he is only six rising seven, and he proved here that he can run Cheltenham well. He probably doesn’t want the ground to be too soft, and he does seem to be slightly better going left-handed as he jumps out to his left at times. He is worth following still, he is still an exciting prospect, and the Byrne Group Plate over this trip is probably the race for him at the Festival. There is a big race to be won with him off his current mark.

10th December 2011