Horses To Follow » Roman Flight

Roman Flight

Roman Flight did well to finish fourth in the two-mile handicap chase at Ascot on Saturday, held up, as he was, in a race in which it appeared to have been an advantage to race handily. He was the only horse who raced in rear who was able to get close.

Wide around the home turn first time, he was ninth of the 11 runners as they passed the winning post first time. A little outpaced up the side of the track into Swinley Bottom, he came under pressure as they turned and raced over the sixth last fence, and a fairly significant mistake at the fifth last probably ended any hope he had of winning the race. But Noel Fehily quickly recovered his equilibrium and allowed his horse regain his rhythm. Still just ninth jumping the third last fence, the fence before the home turn, he moved to the outside in the home straight, and stayed on powerfully from there. He jumped the last two fences well, and ran all the way to the line. He was never going to catch the winner Quite By Chance, but he got close to Noche De Reyes and Festive Affair in second and third. In another 150 yards, he probably would have finished second.

It was a fine run by David Dennis’ horse. He did race through the summer, so he may have had a fitness edge on some of his rivals, but he was competing over a distance that is probably short of optimum for him now, and he did well to get as close as he did from the rear. It was a solid handicap chase, run at a strong pace and in a good time, 0.15secs/furlong faster than Racing Post par.

Roman Flight is eight now, rising nine, but he has raced just 10 times over fences now, and just four times over fences over two and a half miles. He still has scope for progression over the intermediate distance. Two and a half miles is probably his trip now, his record over that distance reads 1291. He is usually a hold-up horse, but he seemed to enjoy himself out in front when he won over two and a half miles at Stratford in mid-October, and those tactics could be worth trying again. He does like this good ground, however, so he is a horse to keep in mind for the spring.

29th October 2016