Horses To Follow » Romain De Senam

Romain De Senam

Romain De Senam put up a nice performance in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Sandown on Saturday to finish fifth behind Rayvin Black, and it is reasonable to expect better from him in the future.

Paul Nicholls’ horse is a free-going sort. He made all when he won at Wincanton on his British debut in October, and he led from flagfall when he got beaten at Cheltenham in November and again at Catterick in December. So they obviously tried something different with him on Saturday, he lined up in behind horses and Sam Twiston-Davies tried to settle him back in the field. He had worn a hood and a tongue-tie at Catterick but, on Saturday, the tongue-tie was retained but the hood was discarded.

Unsurprisingly, the Saint Des Saints gelding was free through the early stages of the race. Indeed, he didn’t really drop the bridle until they started to leave the back straight. He travelled well into the home straight and made progress towards the far side on the run to the final flight. By then, the front two, Sirop De Menthe and Rayvin Black, had skipped clear, and Romain De Seman obviously got tired, but that was understandable given his early exertions and the fact that it was difficult to make ground from the back all day at Sandown on Saturday. He still kept on to finish fifth, beaten a length and a head for third.

Romain De Senam remains an interesting horse. Winner of a hurdle race in France in April, he was impressive in winning on his British debut on good ground at Wincanton in October. He does race keenly, but he should improve as he learns to settle better, and Saturday’s run was a good step in that regard. It may be that he will be seen to best effect next now back on better ground in the spring. With his hood re-fitted, he may settle better, and that should be a big help. He could be a horse for a flat track, he could be an Aintree horse, but good ground may be more important to him than a flat track, and he could be a Fred Winter horse. Paul Nicholls won the Fred Winter last season with a French import Qualando, who raced off a mark of 131, so Romain De Senam’s mark of 136 looks workable.

2nd January 2016