Horses To Follow » Rocky Creek

Rocky Creek

Rocky Creek was very good in winning the BetBright Chase at Kempton Park on Saturday. Kept wide throughout by Sam Twiston-Davies, he travelled well up with the pace from flagfall, and his jumping was really efficient. Sent to the front at the end of the back straight, he travelled well into the home straight, and simply came clear of his rivals from the second last fence. In the end, he came home six lengths clear of Le Reve, with Bally Legend two lengths back in third, and the front three clear.

There is a temptation to think that this race fell apart a little. Fox Appeal and Tap Night unseated early, while Easter Day was pulled up after the fourth fence, having made a bad mistake at the second. That means that three of the first four in the market failed to complete, so the race may not have taken as much winning as it might have done. That said, the form looks rock solid. Le Reve is a progressive and still a potentially well-handicapped horse who is at his best going right-handed, while Bally Legend won this race last year off just a 2lb lower mark. Also, the winning time was really good, the only time that dipped below Racing Post par on the day, and Rocky Creek appeared to win with lots in hand.

He is a big player in the Grand National now. He ran a cracker in the race last year as an eight-year-old, when he raced handily and was right there in the firing line as they rounded the home turn before he faded to finish fifth. He should be much better equipped for the National this year as a nine-year-old, it is an older horse’s race, and, as a bonus, he will get to race off a mark this year that is 2lb lower than last year’s mark. He has a touch of class, he finished second in the Hennessy Gold Cup last season, and he jumped the big fences really well last year. He should be clear favourite for the National, and the 14/1 at which you can back him looks big.

21st February 2015