Horses To Follow » Katenko


Everything about the performance that Katenko put up in winning the Murphy Group Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday was impressive. He had the pace to lie handily on this drop down in trip without Aidan Coleman having to rush him up at any stage, he jumped really well, he cruised into the lead over the fourth last fence, and he was pressing on, together with Our Mick, when that one jumped left, collided with him, and unseated Jason Maguire three from home. Katenko shipped a hefty bump himself, but that didn’t affect him, he continued to power on around the home turn and up the hill, jumped the last two fences well and, despite idling up the run-in, ran out a 12-length winner.

Katenko jumps, he travels and he keeps on galloping, which is exactly what you want in a Gold Cup horse, and we know now that he handles the track. He has plenty of find in the context of a Gold Cup, even after his 11lb hike here he still has around a stone to find with Long Run, Silviniaco Conti and Bobs Worth on official ratings, but he is only seven and there is no ceiling to the amount these staying chasers can improve at this age.

He will probably want a cut in the ground, all his form is on soft ground and he does have a knee action, but easy ground is not unlikely this year. According to times, the last five Gold Cups have been run on ground that has been soft, good to soft, good to soft, good and good (as opposed to the official good to soft, good to soft, good, good and good), and the clerk of the course at Cheltenham reports that the water table has never been higher at this time of year, with all the rain that we have had. If the ground did happen to come up soft, Katenko would not be out of place in a Gold Cup.

26th January 2013