Horses To Follow » First Lieutenant

First Lieutenant

First Lieutenant put up a career-best performance to finish second behind Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase. The Gigginstown House Stud horse raced just a little more keenly than ideal through the early stages of the race, which was perfectly understandable given that the early pace was relatively sedate and that he was making his 2012 debut in the race, but it meant that he probably expended too much energy in the early throes, which left him vulnerable to Bobs Worth’s finishing surge.

The Mouse Morris-trained gelding remains a highly talented and exciting staying chaser. The Grade 1 three-mile novices’ chase at Punchestown would appear to be the obvious race for him now this season, but it may be that he is at his best going left-handed, so he may instead be aimed at the Mildmay Chase at Aintree – a race that Gigginstown won with Quito De La Roque last year. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, and it is not unrealistic to think of him as a live Gold Cup prospect for next year.

16th March 2012

© The Sunday Times, 25th March 2012