Horses To Follow » Presented


Presented ran a huge race to finish sixth in the Eider Chase at Newcastle on Saturday from 8lb out of the handicap. Settled nicely in mid-division and towards the inside by Harry Challoner, he clouted the first fence in the back straight, and he got in tight to the last fence in the back straight but, those errors apart, his jumping was efficient. One of a group of five that broke away from the main group around the home turn, he travelled well on the inside rail just behind the leader Wyck Hill as they straightened for home. Indeed, he and the leader were the only two who were not being ridden along at that point. However, Presented began to fade from the first fence in the home straight as his stamina began to ebb. He came under pressure from the third last fence, and could only plug on at a continually reducing pace as the stronger stayers got away from him, eventually conceding fifth place to Seven Woods on the run-in.

It is not a major negative to lose out in an Eider Chase through a lack of stamina. There are not many races on the calendar run over four miles and a furlong or more. Indeed, on the only other occasion on which Presented ran over an extreme distance, in a three-mile-six-furlong handicap chase at Bangor last February, he was pulled up. He was only a moderate staying novice chaser last season, but he was only five-going-six then, and he looks like a vastly improved and progressive horse this term as a six-gone-seven-year-old, and since joining Brian Ellison. In four runs this season before Saturday, all over around three miles, he had won twice and finished second twice, improving from a mark of 95 in November to a mark of 111 by the time he lined up for the Eider Chase. The handicapper has left him on his rating of 111 for Saturday’s race, which is 8lb lower than the mark off which he actually raced on Saturday, and that makes him very interesting.

It is probable that Brian Ellison’s horse has not finished progressing yet. He is still young for a staying chaser, and he should continue to progress as he continues to strengthen and mature. He obviously handles soft ground well, and, when he won on good ground at Newcastle in November, his trainer said that he would not want the ground to be any faster than that. However, he is by good-ground influence Presenting, so he could improve for the slightly better ground that we should get in the spring. Back down to a more suitable trip of three or three and a quarter miles, he will be of interest wherever he goes next, as long as he is afforded sufficient time to recover from Saturday’s exertions.

22nd February 2014