Horses To Follow » Grand Vision

Grand Vision

Grand Vision was really impressive in winning the Pertemps Qualifier at Haydock on Saturday, and he clocked a good time, faster than both the Grade 2 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle and the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle earlier on the card. He was admittedly carrying much less weight than the winners of those two contests, but he raced on deteriorating ground and looked like he could have gone much faster if pressed, he was pretty unextended to win by seven lengths, with the same margin back to the third and the same margin again back to the fourth. In truth, he was obviously by far the best handicapped horse in the race, but he also seemed to improve for stepping up in trip to three miles and for encountering softer ground. He is proven on good ground, but his dam is by Roselier and was a soft ground mare, so it is not surprising that he should improve for softer conditions.

He has been raised 14lb to a mark of 136 for this run, but that is fair, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the handicapper had seen fit to give him even more than that, but he still has huge scope for progression. This was just his fifth run over hurdles, his second in a handicap (he won the first of them), and he has some good form in novice events with some of the better staying novices around. He was third at Exeter in November to Allthekingshorses and Rocky Creek – the winner won a handicap on Wednesday off a mark of 126 and the runner-up is now a leading fancy for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham, having landed a Grade 2 contest at Doncaster at the end of January – and he was just a neck behind Gullinbursti on his next run at Hereford. That horse is now rated 139 having finished second to Rocky Creek in that aforementioned Grade 2 race, and gone close in a good handicap at Newbury last Friday. Grand Vision’s form in novice company stacks up really well, and he has looked even better since going handicapping. It is likely that there is still a fair bit to come from him, especially on soft ground, he couldn’t have won this much more easily, and he is still one to look out for now wherever he goes.

18th February 2012