Horses To Follow » Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart had to give best to his stable companion Medinas on the run-in in the Coral Cup, but he ran a huge race to finish second. Crucially, Alan King’s horse was up with a really fast pace throughout in a race in which it was a significant advantage to be held up. The other four of the first five horses, along with Meister Eckhart, to jump the second flight faded to finish ninth, 11th, 22nd and 23rd.

Originally racing in a share of third and travelling fluently, Meister Eckhart went into clear third with a quick jump over the third fight, and he was never out of the first three thereafter. He continued to edge closer to the pace on the final circuit and he eased to the front after a quick jump over the fourth last at the top of the hill. He was still going strongly coming down the hill, and was travelling just about better than anything coming to the second last, with the possible exception of the returning Fiveforthree, and he was still able to kick on into the home straight.

He just wasn’t quite able to get clear of his pursuers coming to the final flight and, while he was still able to just get the better of a protracted duel up the hill with Fiveforthree, he couldn’t hold off Medinas who came past them up the inside.

In the circumstances, this really was a big run. The manner in which he was able to keep on up the hill after expending so much energy through the early stages of the race was hugely impressive. Also, this was just his second run of the season, just his second for Alan King and just his fifth run over hurdles. He should come on again for it and he has been raised just 4lb, to a mark of 147, which is more than fair. He has form on heavy ground but he seems better on a sound surface – he ran a cracker in last season’s Albert Bartlett when he was the only horse who could really go with Brindisi Breeze at the top of the hill and he was still in second over the second last before weakening into fifth – and he would warrant serious consideration now at Aintree if he were to turn up there for the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle. He should get three miles in time but for now two and a half miles is probably his optimum. Longer term, he could be a decent novice chaser next season.

13th March 2013