Horses To Follow » Zamdy Man

Zamdy Man

Zamdy Man ran a big race to win the Supreme Trial at Haydock on Saturday.

Sent to the front from flagfall by Aidan Coleman, he was quickly taken on by the free-running Meadowcroft Boy, who spurred him into going a little faster than his rider would have wanted. Coleman allowed Meadowcroft Boy go on at the top of the back straight, but he stayed within a length or so of him, and he was back in front by the time they jumped the third flight in the back straight.

From that point, Meadowcroft Boy, who had been well-fancied and well-backed, was effectively a beaten horse, and there was a chance that those early exertions would have softened up Zamdy Man and made him an easy target for the favourite Un Temps Pour Tout. However, try as he did, David Pipe’s horse just couldn’t get past. Zamdy Man picked up gallantly from the front, went on between the last two flights, and a good jump at the last more or less sealed it. He did tire a little inside the final 100 yards, but that was understandable, he had gone fairly hard from early on fairly attritional ground.

Venetia Williams’ horse didn’t manage to win last season in five attempts, but that could have been a blessing in disguise as he is a second season novice now this term as a result, and he was notching his third win from as many starts this season on Saturday. He has made all or most of the running every time, he obviously enjoys being allowed bowl along in front, and he handles this soft ground well.

The handicapper raised him 13lb to a mark of 149 for this performance. While that is a significant hike, it is not unjustified. The runner-up is a high-profile expensive purchase (he was bought for £450,000 last November) of whom David Pipe reportedly thinks a lot, and Zamdy Man beat him well, despite not having the run of the race, with the pair of them clear. Also, the time was over 1.5secs faster than the time that Melodic Rendezvous clocked in winning the Champion Hurdle Trial 35 minutes later.

It may be that handicaps will not come into the equation for Zamdy Man anyway. It is interesting that the previous two winners of this race were subsequent Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Cinders And Ashes, and subsequent Neptune Hurdle winner Peddlers Cross. Zamdy Man would probably need a significant ease in the Cheltenham ground if he were to bid to emulate either of that pair, but he is an exciting and progressive horse now.

18th January 2014