Horses To Follow » North Hill Harvey

North Hill Harvey

Sometimes it pays to embrace the obvious, and the horse to take out of the Greatwood Hurdle was the winner North Hill Harvey.

Dan Skelton’s horse travelled like the most likely winner from a long way out. He hit the front plenty early enough, after they had jumped the second last flight, and he was vulnerable from there to the finishers. Indeed, he was challenged by Song Light and Modus and A Hare Breath on the run to the last, and it looked like Modus was going to get past him on the far side, but he threw a super jump at the last, he stood way off the obstacle, and he battled on gamely up the run-in to get home by a half a length.

It may have been that the Kayf Tara gelding had more in hand than the bare winning margin, that if Modus had found another length, he would have found another length and a half. It appeared as if he was only just doing enough, and his jump at the final flight was the jump of a horse who had plenty of energy left. He could be value for more than the winning margin.

The handicapper will have his say now next week, he could raise him by 7lb or 8lb to a mark of 148 or 149, but he couldn’t be any more harsh than that, not for a half-length win, and a mark in the high 140s is a mark that should still be well within his range. He is only five and, winner of his only point-to-point, this was just his sixth run under Rules. He has lots of scope for further progression. Easy ground could be important to him, he was taken out of the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton the previous week because the ground was deemed to be too fast for him, so he will be of interest now during the winter. He will be of interest if he runs in another big handicap now, but he will also be of interest if he steps up in grade. He does hold an entry in next week’s Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

13th November 2016