Horses To Follow » Stellar Notion

Stellar Notion

Stellar Notion put up a really nice performance to win the two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day. Sent to the front from flagfall by Paddy Brennan he did jump a little to his left throughout, but his jumping was very good in the main. He still travelled well, leading Quite By Chance and Knock House into the home straight, and he went on over the third last and second last. He did get in a little tight to the last, and that gave Knock House a chance, but the manner in which he picked up again when it looked like Mick Channon’s horse might catch him was impressive. It left the impression that he had plenty more left to give if more had been required.

This is usually a good race, it has been won in the recent past by Our Mick and Rajdhani Express, and there is every reason to expect that this year’s renewal was a solid one. Stellar Notion set a good pace and clocked a really good time, the fastest comparative time of the non-Grade 1 races on the, and not much slower comparatively than the time that Silviniaco Conti clocked in winning the King George. The handicapper raised him 8lb for this, from a mark of 129 to a mark of 137, but that is fair. He could have got more. Interestingly, when Rajdhani Express won this race in 2012, he was also racing off a mark of 129, and the handicapper raised him 13lb, before dropping him back to 140 after a disappointing run, the mark off which he won the Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

That race is a logical target now for Tom George’s horse. He has only just turned seven and Friday’s race was just his second ever chase, so he has bundles of scope to progress further.

A son of Presenting, he could be even better on better ground. He has won his only bumper, two of his three hurdle races and now both his chases. He jumps his fences well, and he is a really exciting young chaser.

26th December 2014