Horses To Follow » Thanks For Coming

Thanks For Coming

Thanks For Coming was the apparent Nicky Henderson second string in the Class 3 three-mile handicap chase at Newbury last Wednesday, but he ran a big race and looked set to be at least placed when he unseated his rider at the final fence.

This was his first try at a distance in excess of two and a three-quarter miles, and he was wide throughout, but he travelled nicely into the home straight. He had been a little keen, but he was still going nicely at the second last fence. A slight mistake there checked his momentum a little, but Edmond Linehan still didn’t really go for him until they approached the final fence, at which stage he was upsides the runner-up when unseating. He still has to prove his stamina for three miles but he was making good progress on the outside and he shaped as if he might have finished second behind the really impressive Loch Ba.

Thanks For Coming had shaped really nicely on his previous run at Sandown, when he raced prominently in a race that was run at a decent pace. The other three horses who made up the first four places through the first half of that race faded to fill the last three positions of the seven at the finish, but Thanks For Coming kept on well all the way to the line, even when headed, despite some indifferent jumping. He gave best only to the progressive John’s Spirit, who added substance to the form of that race when he chased home Katenko in a good handicap on his next run. Thanks For Coming was raised 4lb to a mark of 127 for that, and that may under-estimate his ability considerably.

He is only seven, he has raced just four times over fences, and there is still scope for considerable improvement in his jumping, which should come with experience. If he can improve his jumping just a little – and it should be better back in the hands of Barry Geraghty – then he should prove to be a fair bit better than his current mark, which is just 3lb higher than his hurdles mark. He still has to prove that he stays three miles, but he shaped here as if he would, so he is well worth another try at the trip. He does have a high head carriage, and he had finished second on his previous three runs, he probably doesn’t want to be in front for too long. Even so, he should be worth noting wherever he runs next, especially if Barry Geraghty is back on board.

16th January 2013