Horses To Follow » Mac Aeda

Mac Aeda

Behind Well Refreshed in the Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday, there was a lot to like about the performance that Mac Aeda put up in finishing fourth.

Malcolm Jefferson’s horse travelled well for a long way, he jumped well, and he was still cruising at the end of the back straight. He and the winner were the only two horses still travelling well going to the third last fence, and he jumped it well but, as he had done on his only previous try at a marathon trip, in last season’s Scottish National, he just ran out of stamina from the second last fence, and he was actually passed for third place on the run-in.

There is a chance that Mac Aeda has become a horse who just doesn’t find a great deal off the bridle any more. He had travelled similarly well to the third last fence in the Tommy Whittle Chase on his previous run, but he just didn’t see out the trip as well as the first two home. Also, he had travelled even more strongly on his run before that at Wetherby before ultimately only finishing fourth. However, in both of those runs, as well as in this one, he was beaten by horses who turned out to be well ahead of the handicapper – Wyck Hill and Fill The Power at Wetherby, and course specialist Cannington Brook and the completely unexposed Merry King in the Tommy Whittle. He will be interesting now if he drops back to three miles and encounters slightly less testing ground.

He was wearing a tongue-tie for the first time here and that probably helped him to travel further into the race than might have been the case without it, and that may be crucial to him back at a bare three miles now. He has dropped another 1lb after this, so he is now just 1lb above his last winning mark. He could be an under-rated horse now. People may have him down as disappointing.

16th February 2013