Horses To Follow » Virgilio


Virgilio was impressive in winning the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree on Saturday. Dan Skelton’s horse raced more keenly than ideal through the early stages of the race, so much so that you would have forgiven him if he had expended energy that he would have needed at the finish, but that wasn’t the case. He tanked through the race just behind the leader, jumped well, moved in behind the leader Last Supper between the final two flights, joined him at the last, and bounded clear on the run-in. It was a thoroughly convincing performance, he came home eight lengths clear of the runner-up, the talented Un Ace, and he was value for more than that.

This was just Virgilio’s third run for Dan Skelton since his arrival from France. He won two handicap hurdles in May off marks of 118 and 125, and he has obviously improved again for his summer off. He should also improve again for this run, his first since May. He is only six and this was just his sixth run over hurdles, and he should do even better when he learns to settle better.

The handicapper raised him another 11lb to a mark of 149, but he is so progressive that he should be able to cope with a hike of that magnitude. He stays two and a half miles well and he could get further. He handles good ground as well as this soft ground, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

5th December 2015