Horses To Follow » Knock House

Knock House

Knock House put up a good performance to win the three-mile amateur riders’ handicap chase at Cheltenham on Friday. Mick Channon’s horse gave away plenty of ground by going wide throughout, but he jumped well in the main, with the notable exception of the final fence on the first circuit, which came at a crucial stage of the race. It meant that he as knocked back a little, that he was wide and back in the field as they ran around the top turn and away from the stands, which wasn’t ideal. But he jumped well down the back straight, he got back to the front rank, and he travelled well down the hill. He went on over the last from Foxbridge, and he rallied well when Foxbridge came back at him, seeing out this trip well.

A good novice hurdler two seasons ago – he ran in Faugheen’s Neptune Hurdle – the Old Vic gelding did well as a novice chaser last season. He finished second in a good novices’ handicap chase at Kempton’s Christmas meeting off a mark of 133, then ran a big race to finish fifth in the novices’ handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 137, before rounding off the season by easily landing a small contest at Huntingdon in April.

He had started off this season encouragingly, going down by just three parts of a length to Open Hearted in a three-mile contest at Fakenham in October. He showed nice improvement for his seasonal debut on Friday, and he should be able to progress again. He is only six and this was just his seventh chase. He stays three miles well and he has run well at Cheltenham on the last two occasions on which he has raced there. He probably does need goodish ground to be seen at his best, but he will be interesting again now when he gets it again.

13th November 2015