Horses To Follow » Poungach


Poungach kept on well to finish fourth behind Standing Ovation in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton on Saturday. It never looked like he was going to get close to the winner, who won with plenty in hand and had the race in the bag from a fair way out. Indeed, it always appeared as if they were going just a half a stride quicker than that with which Poungach would have been comfortable. However, he did keep at it doggedly for fourth place, staying on well over the final two fences.

This near-three-and-a-quarter-mile trip, on good to soft ground on Wincanton’s relatively flat terrain, appears to be too short for Poungach now. He did win over three miles at Kempton on his final run last season, but that was not a great contest, a three-horse race that effectively morphed into a match at half way. He probably won’t be seen to best effect until he encounters a real test of stamina now.

He remains interesting, however. He is only seven, this was just his seventh chase, and he still has scope for progression, especially if he steps up in trip now. The Welsh National would be an appropriate short-term target, but he will also be of interest later in the season if he contests the real marathons, the Eider Chase, the Midlands National or the Scottish National. He has the scope to progress beyond his new handicap mark of 143 – just 1lb higher than the mark off which he raced on Saturday – as he steps up to extreme distances.

9th November 2013