Horses To Follow » Lac Fontana

Lac Fontana

Lac Fontana put up a really nice performance to win the finale at Cheltenham on Saturday, the two-mile handicap hurdle.

They did not go a great gallop in the early stages of the race but, even so, Daryl Jacob still had to niggle Lac Fontana along a little away from the stands as they went out on their final circuit. He did come back on the bridle half-way down the back straight, however, and he travelled really well from that point down the hill and into the home straight. Because of the relatively sedate pace, however, several of his rivals also travelled well down the hill as it shaped as though the race would develop into a sprint. Amore Alto went on on the run to the final flight, and Totalize made ground on the far side, but Jacob just eased Lac Fontana between the pair of them over the last. When he asked him for his effort on the landing side of the final flight, the response was impressive as Lac Fontana quickened away up the hill to win with plenty in hand. The form is strong, the right horses finished second and third, he beat them easily, and the first three finished clear.

A performance like this one from the Shirocco gelding was always a possibility, given that he was still largely unexposed going into the race. Second to Chatterbox on his debut over hurdles last February, he had been impressive in winning his maiden on his debut this term at Cheltenham’s October meeting. He was well beaten on his next run behind The Liquidator at the November meeting, but he had been reportedly treated for stomach ulcers after that, and that seemed to work well. Saturday’s race was just his sixth over hurdles, his first in a handicap, and he made light of a mark of 127. He has been raised 12lb to a mark of 139, but that is still a mark that should be well within his range. He is in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune, but it may be that the County Hurdle, or perhaps even the Coral Hurdle is the race for him at the Festival. The fact that he has good course form would be an obvious asset to take into either of those races.

25th January 2014