Horses To Follow » Killer Miller

Killer Miller

Killer Miller was sent off as favourite for last Sunday’s Grade 2 Florida Pearl Chase at Punchestown, and he could only finish third, but it might pay to retain faith in the Noel Meade-trained gelding.

Settled in towards the rear of the six-runner field by Mark Walsh through the early stages of the race, JP McManus’ horse jumped and travelled well behind no more than an ordinary pace that Unic De Bersy set until he got to the sixth last fence.  He made a bad mistake there – as did Wrath Of Titans – he did well to stand up, and that cost him ground just when they were starting to pick up.  Quickly back up in behind the front runners, another mistake at the third last didn’t help, but he was still able to move well in behind the two leaders Captain Von Trappe and Shantou Flyer as they turned for home.  He was a little slow at the second last, but it still looked like he could come and claim the two leaders when another slight mistake at the last ended his chance.  Even so, he kept on well all the way to the line to finish just a length and three quarters behind the winner.

This was a good race. The winner and runner-up are both good horses.  This was Shantou Flyer’s fourth win in his last five runs and, when he won the three-mile novices’ chase at Cheltenham’s October meeting, he had Saturday’s Cheltenham winner Vicente behind him in third place.  On his previous run, Captain Von Trappe had won the beginners’ chase at Galway that Don Cossack and Jessies Dream and Last Instalment and China Rock had all won before him.

Killer Miller himself had looked good in winning his beginners’ chase on his first attempt, at Naas the previous week. He didn’t manage to win in three attempts in bumpers, but he won his maiden hurdle at his second attempt, at Limerick last May, and he was sent straight over fences this season.  That made sense, he is built and bred to jump fences.

Out of a full-sister to top staying chaser Cane Brake, he should improve for a greater test of stamina, and probably for slightly better ground than the heavy ground he encountered here.  He should also improve markedly as he gains in experience over his fences.  He is only six and this was just his second chase, he has loads of scope to progress.

15th November 2015