Horses To Follow » Guess Again

Guess Again

Guess Again put up a nice performance to finish third in the three-mile handicap hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday.

Settled in mid-division through the early stages of the race by Denis O’Regan, he made nice progress on the inside up the back straight to move nicely in behind the leaders as they ran around towards the cross flight. Third on the run to the second last flight, he was a little awkward at that obstacle which didn’t help. Even so, he was still right behind the two leaders on the run to the line, and he kept on well, even closing a little inside the final 25 yards.

This was a fine comeback run from Tony Martin’s horse, his first run since he ran the race of his life in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last April. His jumping at some of his obstacles was a little big, as befitted a steeplechaser, but there was a lot to like about the manner in which he kept on all the way to the line to finish a close-up third behind Misty Lady and Escape Footwear. The first three were nicely clear and the race was run in a good time, the fastest time of the day and just 0.02secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.

The Milan gelding is 10 now, but he is lightly-raced, he has raced just nine times over fences and just six times over hurdles. Also, this was just his third run for Tony Martin. There could still be more to come.

Initial thought was that this would set him up for a nice campaign now in staying handicap chases, and that is indeed the case. He probably didn’t fully see out the three-mile-five-furlong trip at Sandown in April, but three miles or three and a quarter miles should be good for him this season. He is a nicely-moving horse who travels well through his races, and there could be a big handicap chase in him off his mark of 135, 2lb lower than the mark off which he raced at Sandown. As well as that, however, he raced off a hurdles mark of 115 on Saturday, and a 5lb hike brings him up to just 120, which is 15lb lower than his chase rating. He is probably a better chaser than hurdler, but he retains plenty of scope for progression off that hurdles mark and, if his trainer does persist with him over the smaller obstacles for a little while now, he will be of interest in another staying handicap hurdle.

3rd October 2015