Horses To Follow » Ohio Gold

Ohio Gold

Fago was quite a taking winner of the two-mile-one-furlong novices’ chase at Newbury last Wednesday on his British debut and he looks a potentially high-class novice chaser, but Ohio Gold did well to get as close as he did to the winner, and he could be worth following as well now.

Joe Tizzard immediately settled Ohio Gold a couple of lengths behind the two leaders, Fago and the well-backed Open Hearted, and he travelled well through the race. He was a little slower than the front pair over the first few fences but he soon warmed up and he jumped really well down the back straight. He turned out of the far side in a share of second, took that position outright over the first fence in the home straight, and represented the only possible danger to Fago from that point. He never quite looked like winning, but he ensured that the winner had to run all the way to the line, getting to within three and a half lengths of him, in a race that was run in a really good time, and drawing 12 lengths clear of Open Hearted back in third.

Eighth in the 2011 Neptune Hurdle, Ohio Gold was a progressive second-season novice hurdler last season, but he wasn’t seen after he disappointed in the Lanzarote Hurdle last January, when he was sent off the 7/1 third favourite racing from a handicap mark of 134. This was just his second chase and just his second run for 12 months, so he should come on again for it. He chased home Majala on his previous run at Haydock, his chasing bow, when lack of peak fitness probably found him out. Indeed he has been a little unlucky to come up against two such talented horses in his two runs over fences so far, two horses who are probably even better than is widely recognised (assistant trainer Dan Skelton said after this that they were pretty keen to go for the Arkle with Fago). Consequently, Ohio Gold may be under-rated the next time he runs. He would be particularly interesting in a handicap chase now off his hurdles mark of 134.

16th January 2013