Horses To Follow » Black Thunder

Black Thunder

Black Thunder put up a really accomplished performance to win the three-mile intermediate chase at Sandown on Friday.

Settled third of the four runners in the very early stages of the race, Paul Nicholls’ horse’s jumping was so good that it took him up alongside early leader Corrin Wood before they got to the end of the back straight first time. From there, he travelled well, and his jumping was really accurate, with the exception of a slight error at the first of the Railway Fences final time. That allowed Corrin Wood steal a little bit of a march as they started around the home turn, but Black Thunder quickly had him covered and, as Corrin Wood tired from the third last fence – he was actually caught for second place by Rocky Bender – Black Thunder just got stronger from the home turn before he idled on the run-in. It was a good, no-fuss performance.

This is often a good race, it has been won by Lacdoudal and Star De Mohaison in recent times, and Black Thunder should be able to progress from this. He was a progressive novice chaser last season. He ran in the RSA Chase, in which he fell when still travelling well, but it may be that the National Hunt Chase over four miles would have been a better option for him. He is all stamina, and he should progress for a greater test than Saturday’s. He is still in the Welsh National, and he would be interesting if he took his chance in that. He won a novices’ hurdle at Chepstow on one of just two visits there. However, the Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January has emerged as an option, and he would be of interest in that if the ground happened to come up soft, as it often does at Cheltenham’s January meeting.

5th December 2014