Past Winners » On Trend


I think the market is a little bit wrong here, and I am backing the two outsiders, On Trend and Viking Blond.

On Trend ran a cracker last time over three miles at Kempton, going down by less than two lengths to Brackloon High. He meets that rival on 4lb better terms today which, in itself, might be enough to turn around the form, but that doesn’t tell the true story. On Trend was taken on for the lead early by Mush Mir, was passed at the third last fence, but then stayed on really strongly on the run-in to close the gap down to less that two lengths.

The extra half-furlong, the stiffer finish and the softer ground should play to On Trend’s stamina, and that gives him a real chance of exacting his revenge on Brackloon High, especially if he is afforded an easy lead, which is more than possible. Also, Tom Cannon takes off a useful 3lb.

He is only seven, he has raced just five times over fences, and he has lots of room for progression. He handles soft ground well, and he gets in here on 10st exactly. It is easy to see him running a big race.

Viking Blond is not as obviously progressive as On Trend, but he is a high-class handicapper on his day, as he proved again when he finished a close-up third behind subsequent Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude and Bradley over three and a half miles at Cheltenham’s November meeting on his penultimate run.

You have to forgive him a disappointing run in the Welsh National, but you easily can, it was the second year in a row in which he disappointed in that race. He obviously doesn’t like the track or the ground or the freneticism. He should be much happier today back in a seven-horse race in which he will have more time to get into a rhythm.

It may all happen a little quickly for him over three miles at Sandown’s park track, but the ground is going to be very testing, which will suit, he has a lovely weight of 10st 1lb, and the handicapper has given him a little chance by dropping him 2lb for his Chepstow run. If he can get into a nice rhythm early on, he could go close.

ON TREND WON (ADV 9/1, SP 7/1)