Horses To Follow » Aso


Aso put up a good performance to win the 2m 4f handicap chase. Sent into the lead from flagfall by Charlie Deutsch, he travelled and jumped well throughout, and he looked the most likely winner when they left the back straight. He got in a little tight to the cross fence, but he picked up after landing flat-footed and he held the inside from King’s Odyssey as they ran around the home turn. After that, it never really looked like he was going to be caught. Touch Kick mounted a challenge, but Aso stayed on strongly all the way to the line.

This was Venetia Williams’ horse’s first run in 397 days, and he only ran once last season, he was well beaten in the Old Roan Chase, after which he was laid low with a tendon injury, which explains his lengthy absence. He was weak in the market before this race, so there is every chance that he will progress from it. He seemed to appreciate being allowed to bowl away in front, and he could progress again now under these forcing tactics. An 8lb hike was not lenient, it takes him up to a mark of 158, but that is just 2lb higher than his peak.

This intermediate trip is probably his optimum for now, but he ran well in the BetBright Chase at Kempton on his only try at 3m, so it could be worth stepping him up in trip again, and he could do even better when the ground eases some more. Third in the Ryanair Chase a couple of years ago, his trainer mentioned that race as a possible target for him again this season.

Newbury, 30th November 2018