Horses To Follow » Hadrian’s Approach

Hadrian’s Approach

Hadrian’s Approach continues to progress as a staying novice chaser, and he probably would have beaten Unioniste in the three-mile novice chase at Newbury on Saturday but for making a bad mistake at the second last. He had jumped well up to that point, for all he may not have had that much room up the inside of the leader Same Difference at several of his fences, and he just stalked the front two all the way down the back straight with Barry Geraghty keen to keep a tight hold of him. His rider just had to squeeze him for a few strides on leaving the back straight and again around the home turn and early in the home straight, but he came back on the bridle coming to the second last and had closed to within a length of Unioniste when he made that mistake at the second last.

He actually jumped the fence fine, he just landed a bit steeply and his rider had to pick him up right off his nose. Even after that, he may still have got up had he been a little quicker at the last fence, he just stuttered into it a bit and flicked through the top of it, whereas the winner jumped it well. He still stayed on well from there to the line, despite having to be pulled out around the elbow avoiding the water jump, and was only beaten a short head.

Nicky Henderson’s horse would have been suited by a greater stamina test than he got here, the steady pace didn’t see him to best effect. He showed on his previous run in the Grade 1 Feltham Chase that he stays three miles really well, it looked like he was going to have a battle on for second place that day over the second last fence with Third Intention and Molotof (both of whom have boosted that form since), but he stretched away from them up the run-in, running right through the line to finish a clear second to Dynaste.

He is probably better going left-handed than he is going right, even though both of his wins under Rules have been at right-handed Ascot. He has a tendency to jump to his left, and it was noticeable that Geraghty kept him right up the inside throughout Saturday’s race. He is a progressive staying novice chaser, and he won’t be out of place now back in the top grade. The stronger pace of an RSA Chase should see him in better light, and he will be there to benefit from any stamina chinks in the principals in that race.

9th February 2013