Horses To Follow » Blue Fashion

Blue Fashion

Blue Fashion ran a cracker to finish second behind the really progressive More Of That in a Class 2 two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

Always travelling well for Barry Geraghty, the son of Scorpion moved up nicely around the outside rounding the home turn. He jumped the third last flight well, and that took him to within a length of the leaders. Home Run had gone for home on the far side by then, but Geraghty did not go for everything until he landed over the last. It looked like the race was going to be a duel between himself and Special Catch, a duel that Blue Fashion ultimately won, but both were trumped by More Of That, who responded willingly to AP McCoy’s urgings on the near side. Even so, it was a massive effort from the runner-up on his British debut.

The first four home could actually all be worth following. More Of That was winning his third race from his third start, and he is obviously still really progressive. Special Catch looked like a potentially well-handicapped horse going into the race, and Home Run had won a conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham the previous Sunday and, as a result, got to compete off the same handicap mark and without a penalty, albeit with his rider, who claimed 7lb, putting up 1lb overweight. The first four finished clear and the form looks rock solid.

Blue Fashion won two of his five races in France, and he was fourth behind Diakali and Ptit Zig in the Grade 1 Prix Alain du Breuil at Auteuil in June, but this was probably a step forward on anything that he had achieved before. It is probable that he will come on for this, his debut for Nicky Henderson, especially given that the Henderson horses are probably under-performing slightly as a group these days. The handicapper has raised him 4lb to a mark of 147, but that is a mark off which he should be able to land a decent handicap. This two and a half miles is probably his trip, although he should have the pace to be able to drop down to two miles, especially if a fast pace is assured, as it generally is in big-field handicaps over the minimum trip. He could be one for one of the big two-mile handicap hurdles like the Ladbroke or the Betfair Hurdle or the County Hurdle should his trainer decide to go down the two-mile route.

23rd November 2013