Horses To Follow » Van Percy

Van Percy

Van Percy shaped like a horse who was ahead of his handicap mark when he got up on the line to win a three-year-old handicap at Haydock in May having been boxed in for most of the way up the home straight, and he has continued to shape well since, without quite having things go his way. His latest run, in the Melrose Handicap at York on Saturday, was his latest encouraging performance, and there could be a decent prize in him now.

He travelled really strongly but raced wide the whole way. He saw far too much daylight throughout on ground that had eased significantly overnight, but he still arrived there looking a big threat early in the home straight as he swooped through closest to the stands rail. He was probably just about in front under the stands rail at the furlong pole, before his early exertions inevitably told and he faded out of it to finish sixth.

Andrew Balding’s horse didn’t get any cover either in the handicap won by Pether’s Moon at Glorious Goodwood on his previous run, when he towed along the main group in pursuit of the two dueling leaders, and he will almost certainly be seen to better effect when he is covered up now and ridden less aggressively. Although it wasn’t entirely by design at Haydock earlier in the season, he was covered up until the last minute there and produced an impressive change of gear when he got into the clear. That is probably the way to ride him.

His dam was a useful mare who got better as she got older, showing much improved form as a five-year-old, so Van Percy could be better next year at four, but he is also of immediate interest. He goes well on easy ground, he won his maiden on heavy ground at Carlisle last season and he coped with the easy ground here well. His young apprentice is a good rider, but he wasn’t seen to best effect here, and perhaps next time he will get him covered up early. That could be key.

24th August 2013