Horses To Follow » Special Catch

Special Catch

Things didn’t go Special Catch’s way at all in the two-mile conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Aintree on Saturday, and he did really well to finish fifth.

Quietly backed beforehand, Keith Reveley’s horse set off in the middle of the pack, three horses off the inside, but Mikey Ennis had worked his way across to the rail after the three hurdles in the home straight but that proved a troublesome position. He was carried inside by Paintball manoeuvering for position in front of him going around into the back straight on a section of the track where there was no railing, forcing Ennis to take evasive action to avoid running out when the rail came back. He lost several positions because of that and dropped right back into the rear half-dozen over the middle flight down the back straight.

On top of that, he got a little tapped for toe turning out of the back straight and across the top of the track, and he then got stuck in traffic up the inside when he was looking to pick up into the home straight. The two horses directly in front of him weren’t really travelling, and he had to check back around them. Actually, with the field tightly bunched in front of him, he had to come right towards the outside. The first and third had quickened on by that stage (the second and fourth had raced handily), he didn’t have the push-button acceleration to get out of trouble that the winner Cockney Sparrow had, and he was a long way behind over the second last, but he stayed on all the way to the line, finishing strongest of all.

The son of Catcher In The Rye remains progressive. He seemed to bounce off this good ground, and he will be of interest now on good spring ground again. The handicapper has raised him just 1lb for this, which is fair. He will be of interest if he runs again this season off his mark of 127 and, still just six, he could be an exciting novice chaser next season. He should benefit from a step back up in trip, everything was just happening a little too quickly for him here, and two and a half miles on good ground could be optimal for him. He could be under-rated now after three defeats in a row.

6th April 2013