Horses To Follow » Clan Des Obeaux

Clan Des Obeaux

Clan Des Obeaux put up a really impressive performance to win the Grade 2 two-and-a-half-mile novices’ chase at Newbury last Friday. His task was made easier by the fact that favourite One Track Mind, last season’s Champion Stayers’ Hurdle winner at Punchestown, made a bad mistake at the first fence and struggled for confidence thereafter, but Clan Des Obeaux could hardly have been more impressive.

Paul Nicholls’ horse travelled well for Sean Bowen just behind a decent pace that was set by Out Kaempfer. He moved into the leader’s slipstream on the run around the home turn, at which point he left useful chasing prospects Virgilio and Protek Des Flos behind him. Jumping to the front at the fourth last, he just eased his way over the final three fences, coming further and further clear. He won by 10 lengths in the end, from Virgilio, who rallied to re-pass Our Kaempfer for second place, but he could have won by more had he been asked for more. He won readily, and he still clocked a decent time, just 0.11secs/furlong slower than standard and 0.09secs/furlong faster than Racing Post par.

This is a race that has been won in the past by Gold Cup winners Denman and Bobs Worth and Coneygree. While it would be ridiculous to suggest that Clan Des Obeaux is a Gold Cup winner in-waiting, he is a really exciting prospect now. Sixth in the Triumph Hurdle last March, he shaped encouragingly on his chasing debut behind Rock The Kasbah and Our Kaempfer and Theinval at Chepstow in early October, when he probably would have been third had he not made a mistake at the final fence, but this was a significant step up from that.

He will be of interest wherever he goes next, but his trainer was talking about the two-and-a-half-mile route this season rather than the three-mile route, and that makes sense, at least for now. He is from the family of two French AQPS flat race winners over a mile and a half. He does not lack pace, but he will also be interesting stepped up in trip. He is only four and there is no telling how good he could be.

Newbury, 25th November 2016