Horses To Follow » Antartica De Thaix

Antartica De Thaix

Antartica De Thaix only had three rivals to beat in the two-and-a-half-mile novices’ chase at Wincanton on Sunday, and she was rated vastly superior to two of them, but she had a worthy rival in Charmix, to whom she was rated just 2lb superior, and she beat him well in putting up a hugely impressive performance.

Sent into the lead from flagfall by Sam Twiston-Davies, she jumped well throughout, picked up nicely from the fourth last fence and came clear to win by over 20 lengths in a good time.

The Dom Alco mare has always been highly-regarded by her trainer Paul Nicholls, and she is now starting to fulfill her potential over fences. Winner of just one of her six races over hurdles last season, and a close-up third in the listed mares’ hurdle at Newbury last April, she is progressing nicely over fences now. She ran a cracker to finish second to subsequent BetBright Chase winner Pilgrims Bay in a mildly controversial finish to a limited handicap chase at Sandown on Tingle Creek weekend in December on her chasing bow. A faller when travelling well next time at Wincanton on St Stephen’s Day, she has now won her last three. On her last run before Sunday, she was impressive in winning a listed mares’ chase at Huntingdon, but Sunday’s performance was probably another step forward from that.

Paul Nicholls’ mare is only seven, and this was just her fifth chase, so she has the potential to go on again from this. Her trainer mentioned a mares’ novices’ handicap chase at Cheltenham’s April meeting as a next potential target for her, but she will be of interest wherever she goes next. She stays two and a half miles well, she goes on good ground and on soft ground, she goes left-handed and right-handed, and she should continue to improve.

26th March 2017