Horses To Follow » Crack Away Jack

Crack Away Jack

Crack Away Jack ran a big race on his return to action in the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday.

He travelled really strongly in the hands of Paddy Brennan, he was obviously really fresh and well, and Brennan had to take a tug on several occasions, even after the penultimate hurdle in the back straight on the second circuit at which he virtually jumped to the front. He was wide throughout too, probably in search of better ground, meaning he covered more ground than the winner, but he came there hacking on the outside into the straight and he quickly breezed to the front. He pulled a few lengths clear of Tidal Bay after the second last, the only one who could go with him, and he traded at 1.03 in-running between the last two hurdles before he just edged to his left coming to the last, got in too tight to it, landed awkwardly and allowed Tidal Bay to storm past on the near side.

His jumping was very good, they tried to make a chaser out of him but it does looks as though hurdling is very much his game, and he could take high rank in the staying hurdling division this season. He did finish second to Big Buck’s in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree last season on his first run for Tom George, and given that he is a year younger than Big Buck’s, there is reason to believe that he may be able to get a fair bit closer to him this year. He should come on for this run, he shouldn’t be quite so fresh next time, and he was very weak in the market here, so a big run didn’t seem to be expected.

It was no disgrace to go down to Tidal Bay, Paul Nicholls looks to have found the key to Tidal Bay now, unlocked his undoubted ability. His last two runs have seen him win the Bet365 Gold Cup by 15 lengths off top weight and now win here, and he really is a high-class horse, but the way the race panned out, with Crack Away Jack taking him down to the last before tiring, was the ideal scenario for Tidal Bay. Crack Away Jack should be better in a bigger field when he can be buried away behind horses. He could be in for a good season.

3rd November 2012