Horses To Follow » Captain Redbeard

Captain Redbeard

Captain Redbeard put up a game performance to get the better of a protracted battle with Aqua Dude to land the two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday.

Always prominent, Stuart Coltherd’s horse took up the running going down the far side and led into the home straight. It appeared that Aqua Dude was travelling better when he moved up in behind him on the far side at the fourth last fence, and it looked like his rival was running all over him on the run to the second last. However, Captain Redbeard jumped the last two fences well and responded gamely to Sam Coltherd’s urgings to just hold his rival at bay.

This was a really game performance by the winner. Aqua Dude is a progressive young chaser who should be worth following too, and there was a lot to like about the willingness that Captain Redbeard displayed in getting home by a short head from him. The pair of them pulled miles clear of their rivals, and they clocked a fast time, just faster than Racing Post par.

Stuart Coltherd’s horse failed to win on his first four attempts over fences, but he won a handicap chase at Wetherby on his run prior to this and, raised 7lb for that, he stepped up on that to win again on Saturday. The handicapper has raised him another 8lb to a mark of 139, but that was just his sixth chase, and he is on a significant upward curve now. His mark of 139 would get him in just under the threshold of 140 for the Close Brothers Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, so that would be a logical target for him now. He has never run at Cheltenham, but he has won at Carlisle and Sedgefield, so we know that he can handle undulations, and his willing attitude would be a big asset at the Cheltenham Festival, if connections decide to go there. He goes well on this good to soft ground, and he could be an under-rated horse, a northern raider from a relatively small yard.

18th February 2017