Horses To Follow » Sire Collonges

Sire Collonges

There was a lot to like about the performance that Sire Collonges put up to win the three-mile novices’ chase at Cheltenham on Friday, and he is a really exciting novice chaser.

He made the running and jumped superbly out in front, barely making a semblance of a mistake. Even having a horse right alongside him when Ackertac moved up to press him after a few fences did not put him off his stride, he didn’t lose ground on Ackertac – a horse with a year’s chasing experience – at any fence, even when he didn’t seem to be quite be on a stride. The open ditch at the top of the hill on the first circuit was particularly impressive as Ackertac put in a big jump at it whereas Sire Collonges put in an extra stride, yet he still jumped it just as quickly.

Ackertac moved into a narrow lead down the back straight on the second circuit but he was quickly seen off. His stable companion Tour Des Champs, who had moved up at the top of the hill, was beaten by the time he put in a sketchy jump at the third last. The highly-talented Sea Of Thunder looked a big danger at the third last, but Sire Collonges got him in trouble at the bottom of the hill, and, despite a slight mistake at the second last, he remained in front, jumped the last better than Sea Of Thunder and stayed on really well up the hill to win nicely in a good time.

This was impressive. Sire Collonges is now two for two over fences, having won on his debut at Fontwell in May. He is really lightly-raced and he has huge scope for progression. Nicholls said afterwards that he will definitely come on significantly for the run, he was quite weak in the market in the face of good support for Sea Of Thunder, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next, even if he runs next in a deeper race. This race has been won by some useful novices in the past, including Chicago Grey, Ballyfitz, Joe Lively, Ollie Magern and Iris’s Gift, and it is not difficult to envisage Sire Collonges developing into a high-class staying chaser.

19th October 2012