Horses To Follow » Cantlow


Cantlow did well to win the two-mile novices’ chase at Plumpton on Monday after making what really should have been a race-ending mistake at the fourth last fence. His jumping had been good until that point, and it was good again afterwards. Even at the final fence, when AP McCoy said that he couldn’t see the fence looking into the sun, the horse shortened up intelligently and was fast through the air. His main rival, Oscara Dara, came under pressure early, but responded well to get up to challenge Cantlow between the last two fences. However, AP has been easy enough on the Paul Webber-trained horse up to that point, and he found lots when his rider gave him a squeeze to win with more in hand than the one-length winning margin. Also, the time was good, just 0.04secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par, which was impressive given that he wasn’t fully extended and that he will probably be even better with this experience under his belt and when he steps up in trip.

Cantlow is getting good practice in now, this was his third run over fences. Third in the Pertemps Final last year, he proved there that he can handle Cheltenham and Festival conditions, and he looks like a likely Festival Handicap Chase contender even at this early stage. Novices can do well in that race. His chase mark of 138 is 5lb lower than his mark over hurdles, and he is still only seven, so he has plenty of scope for further progression. He will be of interest wherever he goes now, especially if he runs in a handicap and steps up in trip.

17th December 2012