Horses To Follow » Hunters Hoof

Hunters Hoof

Hunters Hoof put up a nice performance to win the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree on Sunday.

Settled nicely through the early stages of the race by Nico de Boinville, he moved up to join his stable companion Bear’s Affair and Pine Creek in a dispute of second place behind the breakaway leader Work In Progress on the run down the back straight. He was three wide on the run out of the back straight, but he moved nicely into a clear second as they rounded the home turn. From there, it was just a case of whether or not he would be able to catch Work In Progress, who was kicking on in front. He didn’t lose any ground on him over the final two flights, and he grabbed the leader about a furlong out before going on to win by a length, the pair of them coming nicely clear.

This was a fine performance from Nicky Henderson’s horse. Work In Progress was impressive in winning a novices’ hurdle at Kempton seven days previously and, although he was racing here under a 6lb penalty, he is a highly progressive young horse. Dan Skelton’s horse may have been a little keen in front, but he still finished off his race well, and the front pair were 12 lengths clear.

Hunters Hoof was not strong in the market on this, his first run since last February, so it is reasonable to expect that he will come on at least a little for it. He is progressive anyway, he is only six and this was just his sixth race ever, just his third over hurdles. The handicapper will probably give him a few pounds when he re-assesses him next week, but he should be well able for a decent hike. He probably does need goodish ground to be seen at his best, so he will be of particular interest now before the ground gets too deep, and again in the spring. Five of his six runs have been at Doncaster and Aintree, both flat tracks.

25th October 2015