Horses To Follow » Tango De Juilley

Tango De Juilley

Tango De Juilley did really well to finish as close as he did to Filbert in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Wincanton on Saturday.

Keen and free through the early stages of the race when restrained at the rear of the field, it was after they had jumped the fourth fence that rider Liam Treadwell decided to allow him stride through his field, probably in order to see if he would settle better in front. By the time they ran out of the back straight and jumped the fifth fence, the cross fence, he had moved up to dispute the lead up on the outside of Notarfbad.

It wasn’t ideal, a mid-race move like that is rarely an efficient strategy, but Treadwell was right, his horse did settle better in front than he had in behind. He settled into a nice rhythm down the far side, jumping well. He had Notarfbad’s measure half way down the back straight, and he had seen off the attentions of Big Fella Thanks by the time they turned for home. By that stage, Black River and Filbert had moved up to challenge, so there was a lot to like about the manner in which Tango De Juilley stayed on on the far side over the last three fences. He did repel Black River’s attentions, but he could not hold off Filbert, who just proved too strong on the run-in, and he went down by just three parts of a length in the end.

It was still a fine performance from the runner-up. The big unknown about him going into the race concerned his stamina for two and a half miles. All his best runs over hurdles, both in France and in Britain, had been over two, and on the one previous occasion on which he raced over two miles and three and a half furlongs, in a handicap hurdle at Ascot in February 2013, he shaped like a non-stayer, fading quite badly after racing freely.

That said, it was interesting that trainer Venetia Williams was happy to give him another try over the intermediate trip over fences, and it is easy to argue that he stayed the trip well. Now that connections know that he does stay, and that he settles better up in front than he does in behind, they can ride him accordingly, they can settle him in front now, even over two and a half miles.

He has lots of scope for progression now over this trip, now that we know that he stays it. He handled the soft ground well, and he seemed happy going right-handed. He did jump out to his right a little at Plumpton on his previous run, so it may be that he is at his best going right-handed. The handicapper has raised him 4lb to a mark of 142, but that is not harsh. He has just turned seven and this was just his third run over fences. He has lots of scope for progression now, and he should be worth following, especially on soft ground and on right-handed tracks.

3rd January 2014