Horses To Follow » Carrigmorna King

Carrigmorna King

Carrigmorna King did really well to finish second behind Tatenen in a competitive two-mile-six-furlong chase at Newbury on Saturday.

Weak in the market in the morning, but well-backed on track before the off, Richard Johnson kicked him off at the back of the field, and he immediately had to sidestep two fallers on landing over the first fence. That may have unsettled him a little because his jumping after that was poor. He got into the bottom of the second fence, the cross-fence, and he clipped the top of the third, sending his rider to the buckle end of the reins. He did settle into a bit of a rhythm after that, but he was playing catch up, he was still stone last as they set off down the back straight final time. Some indifferent jumping down the back straight didn’t help, but he still managed to make smooth progress down the outside fairly effortlessly, and he arrived there just behind the leaders as they straightened up for home, travelling notably well.

He did stay on well from there, and he beat everything except Tatenen, who himself did well to win after getting squeezed out of it as they left the back straight. Richard Rowe’s horse just stayed on better than Carrigmorna King and cleared away. Even so, the manner in which the Philip Hobbs horse stayed on up the run in, coming three lengths clear of the third horse Ruben Cotter, was admirable, and a 4lb hike is not at all harsh.

This was just the King’s Theatre gelding’s sixth run over fences, and his first this season. A progressive novice last season, he would have finished second on his last run before Saturday over hurdles at Wincanton had Foxcub not fallen at the final flight, but it was still a fine effort, and it obviously brought him forward for Saturday’s race. He has been a keen-goer in the past, but he settled well at Wincanton, and he settled well again at Newbury on Saturday at the back of the field. He could get further now that he is settling in his races, and he could be one for a good three-mile handicap chase. He has won on soft ground, but he is probably at his best on this good ground. He is only seven, he has lots of scope for progression as he gains in experience, and he should be able to go a fair bit higher than his new handicap mark of 133 if he can introduce some consistency to his jumping.

30th November 2013