Horses To Follow » Cold March

Cold March

Cold March put up a really impressive performance to win the two-mile handicap chase at Ascot on Saturday. Ulck Du Lin and Pearl Legend and Baby Mix set a fierce gallop from flag fall, but the fact that the last-named pair finished second and third behind Cold March tells you that it was still probably an advantage to race handily. So it was not in Cold March’s favour that he was hampered as the tapes went up at the standing start, which meant that the crossed the starting line second last of the 12 runners. Rider Aidan Coleman didn’t panic, however, he allowed his horse find his rhythm. His jumping was good, if a little to his left, and he made nice progress through the field to sit just behind the leaders as they jumped the fourth last and third last fences. He got a little outpaced as Pearl Legend and Baby Mix kicked on around the home turn, but he was quickly back out after them, he ran them down on the run to the last before clearing away on the run-in to post and impressive victory. The winning time was good too, 0.09secs/furlong faster than standard and the same margin faster than Racing Post par.

A progressive novice chaser last season, this was a really good start to the current campaign by Venetia Williams’ horse. He was pulled up in the novices’ handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but that run was obviously all wrong, and he had been progressing nicely before that. He finished second to decent horses at Kempton in January and at Wincanton in February, when you can easily argue that he should have won both races.

He is still just five and this was just his sixth run since his arrival in Britain. The handicapper raised him 8lb to a mark of 148, but he was worth a hike of that magnitude, and he has enough potential for progression to go higher than his new mark. He is effective over a fast-run two miles and, while he did jump a little to his left here, his three best runs in Britain have been over two miles at right-handed tracks.

31st October 2015