Horses To Follow » Le Vent D’Antan

Le Vent D’Antan

Le Vent D’Antan put up a really nice performance to win the two-mile-three-furlong beginners’ chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Well backed beforehand, Liz Doyle’s horse was very good. He travelled really well for Davy Russell, his jumping was assured and accurate and slick, and there was no point in the race at which you did not think he was the most likely winner. He moved easily up on the outside of Balbir Du Mathan down the back straight, joined the leader over the second last (usually the third last, but the last fence was omitted because of the low sun), sat on his outside over the last and around the home turn before easing past when they straightened up and going on to record a really impressive victory from a useful horse, with the front pair clear of Carriganog and Un Atout.

Visually, this was a really impressive performance. There is substance to it too. This is usually a good beginners’ chase, and the runner-up is a promising horse who could have beaten Adriana Des Mottes and Rule The World on his previous run had he not fallen at the second last fence. The front pair were clear. here, and the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time run over fences or hurdles on the day.

This was just Le Vent D’Antan’s second run over fences. There was no disgrace in getting beaten by Real Steel – who went on to finish third in the Drinmore Chase – on his chasing bow at Naas in early November. The main difference between then and now was his jumping. He was a little sketchy over a couple of his fences at Naas whereas, at Leopardstown on Sunday, he was slick and accurate.

A high-class bumper horse – he was sent off as joint favourite for the 2013 Cheltenham Bumper – it took the Martaline gelding a couple of runs to get his eye in over hurdles last season, but he finished off the season well, winning two of his last three runs and finishing second behind dual Grade 1 winner Lieutenant Colonel in a Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse in the other. However, he has always been a chaser in-waiting.

He should progress now over fences, and he deserves a shot at a Grade 1. He could easily be that good. The Dr PJ Moriarty Chase over two miles and five furlongs back at Leopardstown in February looks like the obvious race for him now, and he should be a player in that race. Looking further ahead, he could be a JLT Chase or an RSA Chase horse for Cheltenham.

28th December 2014