Horses To Follow » Prince Of Pirates

Prince Of Pirates

Prince Of Pirates was backed into favouritism for the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Newbury on Friday, and although he was a well-beaten third in the end, and he would have been only fourth had The Knoxs not fallen at the last, it was still a promising run.

He doesn’t have a fluency about him at his fences, he is still a bit scratchy over them at times, and that is a big handicap over two and a half miles, especially in this company. He travelled well though, he settled nicely in the hands of AP McCoy towards the rear despite the pace not being that strong, and he made progress to be close turning out of the back straight. A sloppy jump at the cross fence put him on the back foot, and he could never get back on terms with the slicker principals.

It is testament to his ability, though, that he was able to finish as close as he did to the front pair, clear of the rest, and he may improve now for stepping up to three miles and perhaps for softer ground too. Also, this was just his fourth run over fences and his first run of the season, it is understandable that he was a bit rusty, and his jumping should improve as he gains in experience. He still looked green here, he was pricking his ears and looking around him between the last two fences, and he could develop into a talented chaser as he matures. He is classy, he beat Bobs Worth in a bumper on his racecourse debut, and there is every chance that Nicky Henderson will be able to elicit significant progress from him over fences.

30th November 2012