Horses To Follow » Attaglance


Despite only finishing third of the four runners in the Scottish Future Champions Novices’ Chase at Musselburgh on Sunday, Attaglance’s performance could still be under-rated.

He did steal about 10 lengths at the start after none of the four runners had shown any interest in leading when the tapes were released, and the general perception afterwards seemed to be that he benefitted from that. However, he led under sufferance, he wasn’t well suited to leading and, paradoxical though it may seem, it may be that his chance was hindered by the fact that he led, despite the fact that he stole a march on his rivals.

His jumping has really improved from his first three runs over fences when he didn’t look a natural at all, and it was good here, very accurate. He just got outpaced a little on the run to the second last before staying on again late on, despite the fact that he was short of room up the inside as Desert Cry edged to his right into the winner Viva Colonia. Harry Haynes had to take a tug on him about 100 yards from the winning line, but he was keeping on again right in behind the front two crossing the line.

Winner of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, Attaglance would be interesting back there now. He should be rated a fair bit lower over fences than he ended up over hurdles (155) after following up his Cheltenham win at Aintree but, now that his jumping appears to be coming together, there is every chance that he can at least match his hurdles rating over the larger obstacles. He should be even better when ridden just in behind horses, and he will be much better suited to a strong gallop at this trip. He could be one for one of the handicaps at Cheltenham, perhaps the Centenary, depending on what mark he is given after this (the Centenary is a 0-140 handicap). It looks as though Malcolm Jefferson has been bringing him along steadily, presumably with the big spring festivals in mind again.

3rd February 2013