Horses To Follow » That’lldoboy


That’lldoboy was in the process of running another really good race in the novices’ handicap chase over two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham on Saturday when he came down three from home. He has not run a bad race all season, and he had moved right into contention on the outside, looking a big danger to all, when he came to grief. He was traveling at least as well as the winner at the time, probably better, and he was handicapped to beat the winner, Bless The Wings, on their Kempton running previously, so he had to have gone very close if he hadn’t have fallen.

Each one of his five runs this season prior to Saturday had been a step up on the previous one, and he looked all set to put in another career-best off a career-high mark here. It is hard to say how close he would have gone towards catching Our Mick at Kempton on his previous run, he was well behind around the home turn but was staying on strongly early in the home straight when he came down at the second last, and he might well have given the winner a real race. Of course it is not ideal now that he has fallen on his last two runs, especially if he is to head to the Festival where the pace may be even stronger, but he actually is not a bad jumper in the main. Significantly, that Kempton race is working out really well now, with Our Mick having followed up by winning a Grade 2 (probably a weak race for the grade, but a Grade 2 nonetheless) at Haydock, and the runner-up, Bless The Wings, going one better here off a 3lb higher mark.

That’lldoboy’s fall on Saturday came too far out for the handicapper to adjust his mark again, so he undoubtedly remains well handicapped. His mark of 127 may not be high enough to get him into the Centenary Chase at the Festival (132 was the mark required to get in last year), but it should see him get a place in the Byrne Group Plate field, and that would be a viable target for him now. He is proven around Cheltenham despite falling here, he ran well at the track in December, and he has progressed again since then. He is only six, this was just his sixth run over fences, and he is still very much one to keep on side.

28th January 2012