Horses To Follow » African Gold

African Gold

African Gold has done nothing but improve with each run over hurdles this season, and he put up his most visually impressive performance yet when winning a novice hurdle at Doncaster last Thursday.

Settled just behind the leader, his jumping was impressive, he was slick and accurate, his only real mistake coming at the final flight, by which time he had already built up a comfortable lead. He didn’t appear to be travelling quite as well as Nicky Henderson’s horse Close Touch, who was right on his tail turning for home, but he is a resolute galloper who finds lots for pressure, and he kept finding all the way to the line.

Given his running style and the manner in which he keeps finding for pressure, we may still be a long way off getting to the bottom of Nigel Twiston-Davies’ horse. He should improve significantly when he steps up to three miles, which he is now due to do at Cheltenham, for either the Albert Bartlett or the Pertemps Final. He is qualified for the Pertemps Final even though he hasn’t run in a qualifier, as he was entered for one that was abandoned. His mark of 135 would be borderline in terms of getting into the race, but if he did get in, he would get in on a low weight. As a five-year-old he is younger than ideal for a Pertemps, but he would still be an interesting contender.

7th February 2013