Horses To Follow » Diego Du Charmil

Diego Du Charmil

Diego Du Charmil could finish only fifth of five in the Haldon Gold Cup, but it should still be worth keeping him on side. Paul Nicholls’ horse ran a lot better than the bare form of the run suggests.

Weak in the market beforehand, he travelled really well for Harry Cobden. He was a little too keen on occasion and his rider had to rein him back, but his jumping early on was superb. He jumped up on the outside to join leader Ozzie The Oscar when that rival dragged his hind legs through the ditch on the far side, and he travelled well out of the back straight up on the outside of the leader. He actually landed over the fourth last, the first in the home straight, in front, but he just started to fade from there. He came under pressure, and the first three had come away from him by the time he rose to the second last fence. He did weaken quite tamely and quite rapidly, and his rider allowed him come home in his own time.

It was initially a little disappointing that he faded as quickly as he did, but it later emerged that he had suffered an over-reach. Also, he lost a shoe. That probably explains why he faded so quickly. He had travelled through his race like a good horse. He is only six and he was conceding weight to a battle-hardened horse in God’s Own and to race-fit rivals Ozzie The Oscar and his stable companion San Benedeto.

The Ballingarry gelding was a seriously progressive novice last season. He was travelling like a winner in a novices’ handicap chase at Sandown in March when he came down at the third last, and he was impressive in beating Petit Mouchoir and Shantou Rock and Lady Buttons in the Grade 1 Maghull Chase at Aintree in April. This was just his seventh run over fences, and it was his seasonal debut, so it is probable that he will do better next time. He remains a horse who could still take his place among the top two-mile chasers this season, and he won the Fred Winter Hurdle on his first run for Paul Nicholls, so we know that he can operate at the Cheltenham Festival.

Exeter, 6th November 2018