Horses To Follow » Well Refreshed

Well Refreshed

Well Refreshed ran a fine race on ground that should have been faster than ideal for him to finish third behind There’s No Panic in the London National at Sandown on Saturday.

Settled out the back of the field early on by Joshua Moore, he travelled well through the race, but made his customary errors at several fences – including a fairly bad one, when he pecked badly, at the second fence in the back straight final time, and another fairly bad one at the first of the Railway Fences, just as he was trying to manoeuvre himself into a position from which he could challenge. Even so, he made nice progress around the outside on the run to the Pond Fence, and he actually jumped that fence with a share of the lead. He was just a length behind the leader Court By Surprise at the second last, but a mistake there didn’t help, and he was outpaced by the leader and There’s No Panic on the run down to the final fence. After landing over the last, however, he stayed on really well up the run-in to retain third place, recovering ground on the two leaders to be beaten just a total of two lengths.

Gary Moore’s horse thrived on soft ground last season, completing a soft ground hat-trick from December to February that culminated in a 10-length victory in Haydock’s Grand National Trial. He was raised 33lb by the handicapper as a result of those wins, and he is back up 2lb to his mark of 141 for Saturday’s run, but there is every reason to believe that, on Saturday’s evidence, he will still be well-handicapped on that mark once he gets soft ground again.

His next intended target is the Welsh National at Chepstow on 28th December, and he should be a major player in that race, as long as the ground gets soft by then. It is usually soft for the Welsh National, but it does need to rain now. He has never run at Chepstow before, and there is a little worry that all his good form is on relatively flat tracks, but soft ground is probably far more important to him than anything else and, as long as it does come up soft at Chepstow, he should be fine. He has run in just nine chases to date, he still has scope for progression, and if he ever managed to get his jumping properly sorted, he could be a really high-class staying chaser on soft ground.

7th December 2013