Horses To Follow » Taquin Du Seuil

Taquin Du Seuil

Taquin Du Seuil was impressive in winning the Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown on Friday on his first run over two and a half miles. He was keen enough early on behind a really sedate pace, but he settled into a nice rhythm when they picked up the pace down the back straight, and he jumped well. Le Bec travelled nicely in front and put up a bold effort, but the result never looked in doubt from a long way out and Taquin Du Seuil won as easily as he liked, readily striding clear up the run-in from some horses with decent reputations.

The Paul Nicholls horse Southfield Theatre was really well backed on course, he was actually sent off as favourite ahead of Taquin Du Seuil, and the Donald McCain horse Up And Go had been well backed through the morning. That pair were both impressive winners of bumpers on their previous runs and were obviously well enough regarded for their respective trainers to pitch them into a Grade 2 company on their hurdling debuts. The fact that Taquin Du Seuil was able to beat them both so well (Up And Go took a tired fall at the second last) was pleasing.

Jonjo O’Neill’s gelding seemed to appreciate this step up to two and a half miles and this easier ground. The fact that he was the keenest of the five runners early on and yet bounded to the line full of running suggests that he could be pretty good indeed. Given his keenness, he can do even better off a stronger pace in a better race. He is only five, and this was just his third race over hurdles, so he has massive scope for progression.

His trainer said afterwards that he is the best novice that they have by a long way, that he was beaten by a very good horse in My Tent Or Yours at Ascot on his previous run, and that he has the pace to be as good over two miles as two and a half. He will be entered in the Challow Hurdle and the Tolworth Hurdle, and is a probable for either the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or the Neptune. Given that he was running over two miles on the flat in France and how strongly he saw this trip out on this testing ground, he looks more of a Neptune type at this stage. It makes sense that he should avoid My Tent Or Yours (who is owned by JP McManus) for the remainder of the season, including at the Cheltenham Festival (it would make sense for one to run in the Supreme and the other to run in the Neptune), he is exciting and he will be of interest in whichever option he takes up now. You suspect, however, that he will be seen to best effect in a strongly-run two-and-a-half-mile contest and, as such, he is of interest for the Neptune Hurdle even at this stage. Best odds of 16/1 are interesting.

7th December 2012