Horses To Follow » Three Faces West

Three Faces West

Three Faces West was impressive in winning the three-mile handicap chase at Haydock last Saturday. Racing in cheekpieces for the first time, he got into a lovely rhythm in front for Richard Johnson from early, and he could have been called as the most likely winner of the race from a long way out. He traded at even money in-running as they left the back straight, and he just came further and further clear up the home straight, coming home 13 lengths clear in the end, eased down, from Firebird Flyer and Midnight Prayer.

This was much more like it from Philip Hobbs’ horse after his disappointing run at Carlisle on his seasonal debut. It is difficult to know what went wrong at Carlisle, he jumped to his left, which he hadn’t done before, and he had won a Class 2 handicap chase at right-handed Exeter. Perhaps something was amiss with him. In any case, he put that performance well behind him in his first-time cheekpieces on Saturday.

The handicapper has raised him 12lb for Saturday’s win, which looks harsh on the face of it, but he has the scope to cope with a hike of that magnitude. A progressive novice hurdler – he won three of his four novice hurdles in 2015 – he progressed as a staying chaser at the end of last season, so it was good that he was able to pick up the thread again here. This was just his fifth run over fences, so he has scope for further progression. He handled this soft ground well, but he also goes well on good ground.

19th November 2016