Horses To Follow » Broadway Buffalo

Broadway Buffalo

Broadway Buffalo did well to finish second to Cause Of Causes in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham given how the race panned out.

Settled towards the rear of the field and on the inside through the early stages of the race by Katie Walsh, he jumped and travelled well. Still last as they started down the back straight final time, he made nice progress down the far side and travelled well to the final ditch. He was right beside Cause Of Causes at that point, but he got squeezed out of it a little at the ditch and he left his hind legs in it, losing valuable ground and momentum, with the net result that, by the time they turned at the top of the hill, he was four places and about six lengths behind the eventual winner. It was the wrong time in the race to make such a jolting mistake, just as the pace was starting to increase.

Katie got him back balanced, and gave him time to recover his equilibrium. Back on the bridle, he made another mistake at the second last (the usual third last) but he still travelled well around the home turn, on the inside. He moved up on the run to the last and jumped that obstacle no more than a length behind the leader. He picked up well on the run-in, around the omitted final fence, but so did Cause Of Causes, and Gordon Elliott’s horse had enjoyed a smooth run through the race under Jamie Codd. He was not for catching. Even so, Broadway Buffalo ran all the way to the line, and the front pair pulled five lengths clear of third-placed The Job Is Right.

This was a fine effort from David Pipe’s horse. On official ratings he had 9lb to find with Cause Of Causes, and he got close to him, despite the fact that he did not enjoy the run of the race. He handled this good ground well, but he also goes well on heavy ground, as he proved when he won the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock in December. He does have to be ridden this way, dropped out the back and making his ground gradually, he does seem to enjoy passing horses, but he is good when things do drop his way. He proved at Cheltenham too that he can handle an undulating track as well as a flat track.

The handicapper raised him 4lb for this to a mark of 141, which is fair. He is in the Grand National, and he would be 4lb well-in in the race if he did get into it. He could be an interesting outsider in the National, but he is only seven and he would need things to drop his way. He still has scope for progression as a staying chaser, he is still a relatively young horse and he has only raced nine times over fences. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, but the three-mile handicap chase at Aintree might be a better option for him at this stage of his career than the National.

10th March 2015