Horses To Follow » Pine Creek

Pine Creek

There was a lot to like about the performance that Pine Creek put up in winning the two-mile handicap hurdle at Ascot on Saturday. Settled nicely in the early stages just behind the leaders, he took it up at the second last flight and kept on well all the way to the line to hold off the persistent challenge of the progressive and well-backed Chris Pea Green, the pair of them clear.

There is a possibility that, had Chris Pea Green jumped the final flight more fluently, he would have secured the stands rail and might well have won, but Pine Creek had been in front for long enough, and he was entitled to idle a little. It is probable that he won with more in hand than the bare winning margin of three parts of a length.

A winner over 11 furlongs on the flat at Longchamp when trained by Andre Fabre for Sheikh Mohammed, the Doyen gelding progressed nicely over hurdles last term for John Ferguson, before disappointing slightly on his final run of the season in the Imperial Cup at Sandown. It was really heavy ground that day at Sandown so, although he is by soft-ground influence Doyen, you can still forgive him that run easily enough. His run last Saturday was another significant step forward, and he has lots of scope for progression. The handicapper has raised him 7lb for his Ascot win, which is not harsh, and he could still be a well-handicapped horse. His mark of 137 should see him get into the Greatwood Hurdle on the high 10sts or low 11sts, and he would have a big chance in that race off that type of weight if he took his chance.

2nd November 2013