Horses To Follow » Voix D’Eau

Voix D’Eau

Voix D’Eau ran better than his finishing position in seventh place suggests in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

Harry Fry’s horse was held up in rear by Noel Fehily through the early stages of the race, which was not ideal as it turned out, in a race that was run at a sedate pace and in which the prominent racers were favoured. The first five home occupied five of the first six places racing into Swinley Bottom first time. Voix D’eau was actually last of the 12 runners passing the winning post first time, a mistake at the last fence first time not helping. Still last as they raced out of Swinley Bottom final time, he was not helped by the sedate pace, Fehily had to restrain him back behind horses even with just six fences to jump. He still travelled well up the side of the track, but he left his hind legs in the third last fence, which halted his momentum which he needed to keep up as the pace continually quickened.

Still just eighth as they rounded the home turn, he still had a chance, he was no more than five lengths off the leader, but the leaders were not coming back. He was not fluent at either of the last two fences and, while he ran all the way to the line, he finished off his race well once moved towards the outside, he just couldn’t get close to the leaders.

The Voix Du Nord gelding is better than this. You can understand the patient tactics, given that it was his first attempt at three miles, but he was always going to struggle from his position once the early pace was not strong. He stayed the three miles well though, albeit at that slow pace. He finished off his race well. So connections can be more confident now in his ability to get the trip. He can be ridden more positively over the trip next time.

He remains a horse of some potential. He has strong form from last year over two and a half miles at Ascot and Doncaster, and at Cheltenham in April. He is only six and this was just his ninth chase, so there should be plenty more to come. He does appear to be at his best on good ground, so he will be interesting now if he runs again before this dry spell ends. He could be a horse for the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham’s November meeting, as long as the ground remains goodish. Looking further ahead, he would be of interest for one of the big three-mile handicap chases in the spring.

29th October 2016