Horses To Follow » Generous Ransom

Generous Ransom

Generous Ransom put up a fine performance to win a good two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Quickly into a nice even rhythm in his first-time cheekpieces on the inside and in mid-dividion behind a fast pace set by Stellar Notion, Nick Gifford’s horse could have been called as the horse who was travelling best of all from a long way out. They did go fast, but Generous Ransom wasn’t that far off the pace, he was never more than four or five lengths off the pace, so he may not have been flattered by the fact that the pace collapsed in front of him.

He travelled really well down the hill and, as Stellar Notion wilted on the run around the home turn, he moved on with Carole’s Destrier. He jumped on at the second last and looked to have the race in the bag on the run to the final fence. He got that obstacle all wrong, he landed flat-footed at the back of it, and that gave his chasers a chance. Astigos did close him down to a neck at the line, but it never looked like he was going to catch him. It may have been that the winner was idling as opposed to tiring, and he could have won with a fair bit more in hand than the small winning margin.

There were a lot of positives to be gleaned from this performance by Generous Ransom. He travelled like a good horse through the race, probably aided by his cheekpieces, he improved nicely going down the hill, he jumped well in the main and he finished off his race. Also, he proved that he could handle Cheltenham, which was important. He had never raced there before, and his best two performances before Saturday were at Kempton and Sandown, both right-handed, relatively flat tracks, the opposite to Cheltenham, a left-handed undulating track.

The handicapper has raised him 8lb to a mark of 138, but that is not harsh and he still has lots of scope for progression. He is only seven and this was just his fifth run over fences. Also, both his trainer and his rider Daryl Jacob suggested afterwards that he would be even better on better ground, and that augurs well for a tilt at one of the Cheltenham Festival handicaps. Two and a half miles could be his optimum trip, so the Rewards4Racing novices’ handicap chase at the Festival, a race for novice chasers rated 140 or less, looks like the ideal race for him there.

24th January 2015