Horses To Follow » Outlaw Pete

Outlaw Pete

Outlaw Pete ran a cracker in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham on Friday, and he is in excellent heart at present.

He just took a while to get into a rhythm on this course, his debut at it, and he dropped right towards the rear at quite an early stage. He was second last after a mile with only the very patiently ridden Another Jewel behind him, he just wasn’t attacking the obstacles with as much zest as those who had been around the course before, and he was particularly stuttery over the cheese wedges. He started to warm to his task heading into the final circuit however and, once he found his range he closed up in behind the leaders menacingly. He had made rapid progress coming to the sixth last obstacle, the Aintree style fence, and despite not jumping it as fluently as those in front of him, he closed right up over the next fence to be part of a group of four who pulled clear. He threatened to play a big part in the finish as they came onto the racecourse proper, right alongside Uncle Junior and Balthazar King, before just getting tired over the final two obstacles.

John Halley’s gelding loves Punchestown’s banks course, he won the Ladies’ Cup in 2011, he was travelling well when unseating at Ruby’s Double in this year’s La Touch Cup, and he made amends by going and winning the Irish Field Chase two days later. This run showed that he can be equally effective on Cheltenham’s Cross-Country course, and he is a real live candidate for the Cross-Country Chase at the Festival now, as well as the race at the December meeting, both of which are handicaps and in which he will be much better off with Uncle Junior and Balthazar King. He handles all types of ground, from testing to very quick, so that is not a concern for the festival either.

He probably would have won the Cork Grand National on his previous run but for cocking his jaw and running out at the final fence, he is not devoid of ability on conventional tracks, but it is back at Cheltenham, with experience at the track now under his belt, that he will be of most interest.

16th November 2012