Horses To Follow » Bless The Wings

Bless The Wings

Bless The Wings did well to win a listed handicap chase at Wetherby last Friday considering he made a fairly bad mistake at the first fence, diving away to his right. That mistake seemed to jolt him into action, he jumped much better after that and he travelled strongly too, just in behind the leaders.

Some fluent jumping down the back straight on the second circuit took him closer, and despite being sandwiched between Drever Route and Nez Rouge at the penultimate fence down the back, he had gone into a share of third place leaving the back straight and was travelling as well as anything turning for home. Gansey quickened up from the front at the top of the home straight and jumped the last four fences really well, but Bless The Wings just out-battled him after the last and forged a little way clear, with the pair of them ahead of the useful Nez Rouge and course specialist Lease Lend, who had also travelled well throughout.

Bless The Wings is really progressive now, this was his third win over fences from his sixth attempt, and there looks to be even more to come. He may well improve further for a step up to three miles now – having looked like he may win quite easily at the top of the straight, it took him a long time to get on top over this two-and-a-half-mile trip. He has been raised 8lb to a mark of 145, and he struggled with such a rise last season after winning well at Cheltenham on Trials’ Day, but he ran in two really competitive races after that, the novices’ handicap chase at the festival and a good race at Market Rasen. He has probably strengthened up over the summer and he should be able to cope with a mark in the 140s now, especially if he is stepped up to three miles. He could be a very useful three-mile handicapper this season, he is only seven going on eight and has plenty of scope for progression. He could be a Racing Post Chase horse. He ran really well at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day last year on his only visit to the track.

2nd November 2012