Horses To Follow » Ace High

Ace High

Ace High ran a lot better than the bare form of the race suggests in finishing third behind Nuts N Bolts in the three-mile-five-furlong handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday.

Sharing the lead with favourite Gorgehous Lliege from early, his jumping was efficient and accurate, and he had got the better of Venetia Williams’ horse by the time they had reached the end of the back straight final time. It appeared that he was travelling really well in front at the top of the home straight, when he traded at 1.44 in-running, but he began to flounder on the run to the third last, at which point he was overtaken by Nuts N Bolts. He faded from there, and he was actually run out of second spot by Red Rocco on the run-in, when he was just running on vapours.

This was Ace High’s first attempt at a distance in excess of three miles, and he probably just didn’t see it out. He will be interesting again now returned to three miles or close to it. He is nine years old, but this was just his seventh run over fences and just his 10th in all, so he still has scope for progression. Also, this was his first run for David Pipe, he hasn’t been at Nicholashayne for very long (he had his last run for Victor Dartnall in October), so there is further potential for progression there.

The handicapper has left him on his mark of 132 after this performance, and that is a mark off which he should be able to land a good handicap chase. An impressive winner of his beginners’ chase at Chepstow in October 2011, when he had Duke Of Lucca and Teaforthree behind him in second and third, he finished third in a handicap chase back at the Welsh venue on his next run a year later off a mark of 142. He has obviously had his problems, but hopefully they are behind him now, and he can make up for lost time. He is dangerously handicapped, and he will be of interest now dropped down a little in trip.

He is entered in the Becher Chase at Aintree on 7th December, and he would be of interest if he took up his place in that as long as he has got over his exertions here. He could get away with three and a quarter miles there, as long as conditions are not too attritional, and he is the type of horse who could be well-suited by the Grand National track given his prominent style of racing and his accurate jumping.

23rd November 2013