Horses To Follow » Broadway Buffalo

Broadway Buffalo

Broadway Buffalo put up a really nice performance to win the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock on Saturday, and this win could be the springboard to even better things.

David Pipe’s horse was given a really good, patient ride by Conor O’Farrell. Out the back and hunting away, creeping into the race gradually. It was the way that he needed to be ridden. He made nice ground at the end of the back straight, moved well up the home straight, joined leader Toby Lerone at the final fence, still on the bridle and, when O’Farrell asked him for his effort, he found plenty, coming away from Toby Lerone on the run-in, and appearing to finish still with plenty of running left in him.

This probably wasn’t a great renewal of the Tommy Whittle, you could pick holes in most of contenders – including the winner – before the start of the race, but it was still a nice performance from Broadway Buffalo. He was a good staying handicap hurdler last season, he stayed on really well, finding plenty when he was challenged, to land the Long Distance Handicap Hurdle at Haydock in May, but he looked like a weak finisher in his two most recent runs before Saturday. He travelled like the most likely winner down the hill in the amateur riders’ race at Cheltenham’s November meeting before finding disappointingly little in the home straight to finish third, and he travelled really well, making rapid ground, down the back straight in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle at the end of November before fading in the home straight.

This was much more like it. It was important that he was ridden as patiently as he was, held up until as late as possible and asked for one effort. That was obviously the plan going out, and O’Farrell carried it out to the letter.

The handicapper has raised him 11lb for this, but that still leaves him on a chase mark of 140 which is back up to his hurdles mark. Also, he is only six and this was just his sixth chase, so he has lots of scope for progression over fences now. It is important that he is ridden patiently like this, but, if and when he is, he could be a factor in some of the very good staying handicap chases now.

He goes well on soft ground, he stays three miles well, he seems to be at his best on flat tracks, and he is now two for two at Haydock. He is set to run in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby on Friday, and he will be of obvious interest in that, under just a 6lb penalty. (He will be 5lb well-in.)

However, that race is coming up quite quickly after a hard race on Saturday, and he may be over-bet, as an obviously well-handicapped horse. However he fares on Friday, he is one to keep in mind when he has his conditions again later in the season, even off his new handicap mark.

20th December 2014