Horses To Follow » Big Jim

Big Jim

Big Jim did well to last as long as he did in front in the two-mile handicap chase at Wetherby on Tuesday, given how hard he went from flagfall.

Alex Hales’ horse had made just about all the running when he had got off the mark over fences on his previous run, at Warwick last month, and that was obviously the plan here again, so it was not ideal that he was taken on for the early lead by Quick Decisson. The pair of them went toe-to-toe over the first three fences with the result that, passing the winning post first time, they were all of 10 lengths clear of their four rivals. That was just too fast.

Quick Decisson went about a length up as they started down the back straight, and a significant error at the third fence down the back straight didn’t help Big Jim, but he was quickly back in front. He led out of the back straight as Quick Decisson came under pressure, he led into the home straight as Quick Decisson faded, and he looked the likely winner when he still held a three-length advantage at the second last fence. From there, however, his early exertions started to take their toll, he jumped the last a tired horse, and he was overhauled on the run-in by Retrieve The Stick, who was getting 12lb, as Quick Decisson faded to finish fourth, beaten about 20 lengths.

Big Jim remains an interesting horse. He is a big strapping chaser who should get further than this two miles in time. Just seven, this was just his fifth chase, so he has lots of scope for progression. He was impressive in beating Morning Reggie at Warwick on his previous run, and this was probably a step up on that, racing, as he was, off a 9lb higher mark. The handicapper left him on his mark of 120 after this, and he will be of interest again now in a similar contest, especially if it looks as if he will not be taken on for the early lead.

23rd February 2016