Horses To Follow » Roalco De Farges

Roalco De Farges

Roalco De Farges is worth noting now after an excellent effort in finishing second to Tidal Bay in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on Saturday.

Ridden more patiently on this occasion than he has been in many of his races this season, including the Midlands National on his penultimate run, when he was put right into the firing line a long way from home and failed to see out the marathon trip. He travelled really well here, he made nice progress down the back straight, and it would have been even more fluent progress but for a fairly jolting error at the second of the fences there. He was given a bit of time to recover from that mistake by Richard Johnson, but he was right there behind the front two as they approached the Railway Fences, and he came through to join Vic Venturi in front over the last of them.

He was still travelling nicely out of the back straight and around towards the Pond Fence, albeit with Tidal Bay looming in behind on the bridle. He drew away from the rest all the way from the fourth last to the line and he would have been a really good winner of the race but for the presence of Tidal Bay, who raced off a mark of 154, 12lb below his peak of 166 (to which he has been raised again for this). Roalco De Farges had no answer to Tidal Bay after the final fence, but Tidal Bay is an Arkle winner, he should have had much too much speed for Roalco De Farges, and Philip Hobbs’s seven-year-old emerges with a great deal of credit.

The Dom Alco gelding has gone up just 2lb to a mark of 136 for this run and, although he was ultimately beaten 15 lengths, that looks lenient as without Tidal Bay in the race he would have been in for a double figure rise. He looks like a Welsh National horse now, he proved here that he can handle soft ground and that he can stay three miles and five furlongs, and he has good form at Chepstow, which is a big advantage for the Welsh National. That race is apparently on his agenda.

He is only seven, this was just his seventh chase, and he still has lots of scope for progression from a mark of 136. He is an interesting staying chaser for next season, and he is not just a mudlark, he has pace as well as stamina.

28th April 2012