Horses To Follow » Bennys Mist

Bennys Mist

Bennys Mist ran a big race to finish second to Sound Investment in the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury last Saturday. Always up with the pace, Aidan Coleman sent him into the lead at the cross fence, five from home. He travelled well into the home straight and, when he jumped the second last fence with a three or four-length lead, he looked all set for victory. It was to Sound Investment’s immense credit that he was able to catch the leader – and he is another horse to note from the race – but Venetia Williams’ horse still kept on really well all the way to the line. He went down by just three parts of a length to the winner, and the pair of them pulled 17 lengths clear of the third horse Simply Wings.

This was another good run from Bennys Mist, his third good run of the season, and he is surely being geared up for the Topham Chase again this term, a race in which he finished second to Ma Filleule last year. He will be better-equipped for the Topham this year too as a nine-year-old. Younger horses do win the Topham, but that seems to be the sole preserve of French-bred horses. Gwanako, Liberthine, Cyfor Malta, Triolo D’Alene, Ma Filleule – all French-breds. If you are bred in Ireland or Britain, it appears that you need to be at least nine if you want to win the Topham, and Bennys Mist has just turned nine.

He jumped the big fences really well last year, and again in the Grand Sefton in December, and all his best runs are on flat tracks: Wincanton, Aintree, Newbury. Formerly thought of as a soft ground horse, an extended two and a half miles on goodish ground suits him well now, and his prominent style of racing is well suited to the Grand National course. He has been raised 5lb for Saturday’s run, but that leaves him on a mark of 143, just 3lb higher than his peak. He is one for the Topham shortlist.

28th February 2015