Past Winners » The Dutchman


I am taking a chance on The Dutchman here.  His run to finish second to Sam Spinner in the Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock in November obviously looks even better now than it did at the time, since Sam Spinner won the Long Walk Hurdle and is now favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Of course, The Dutchman was well beaten, and you would have liked to have seen the race as a whole work out a little better, but it was still a big run.  He was the only horse who was able to get close to Sam Spinner in the home straight, and he kept on well to finish second.

Crucially, that was on heavy ground at Haydock, and form on heavy ground at Haydock is a big asset to carry back into another race on heavy ground at Haydock. That was over hurdles, but there is every chance that The Dutchman will improve now back over fences.

He was a good chaser for Sandy Thomson last season, he finished second behind Oldgrangewood at Wetherby and he finished second behind Zamdy Man at Newcastle.  He has run just twice over hurdles for Colin Tizzard, so you have to think that there is further improvement to come now over fences, given that he has raced just six times over the larger obstacles.  He has scope to progress now.

He races off a mark of 135 today, which is 2lb lower than his hurdles mark.  He was a little disappointing at Cheltenham last time, but he should be happier now back on a flat track – his best form is on flat tracks – back on heavy ground at Haydock, the conditions under which he put up one of the best performances of his career.

Tintern Theatre is progressive and probably well handicapped after just a 4lb hike for winning last time, but he is short and he is not proven at Haydock.  I am more afraid of Yala Enki, but, at a much bigger price, The Dutchman is the bet.