Horses To Follow » Missed Approach

Missed Approach

Missed Approach only finished sixth in the Becher Chase, but he ran a lot better than the bare result suggests. He missed the break, he was slowly into stride from a standing start, and he was a little awkward at the first fence, with the result that he was about 8l behind the second last horse on the run to the second fence. He made his ground quite quickly, though, and he was matching strides with the leader Call It Magic by the time they set out on their second circuit with two miles to run. He had done a lot of running to get to that position, however, and the front pair took each other on for a few fences, they came away from the main body of the field, which was probably detrimental to both horses’ chances of winning the race.

Missed Approach made a mistake at the fence before Becher’s, and he was probably losing the private duel for the lead when Call It Magic jumped across him a little at the fourth last fence, the final ditch. That was the final nail in Missed Approach’s chance, but he still kept on gallantly to take sixth place.

Second in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and winner of the Kim Muir at last season’s Festival, Warren Greatrex’s horse obviously stays well, and he proved that he could operate at a flat track too when he finished second in a good handicap hurdle at Ayr’s Scottish National meeting in 2016 off a hurdles mark of 143. He is rated 145 now over fences, the handicapper dropped him by 1lb for Saturday’s run and, eight rising nine with just 12 chases under his belt, that is a mark that he could surpass. The Grand National is the obvious target for him. He jumped the big fences well in the main, and a rating of around 145 should see him get into the race with a nice racing weight. That mark would have seen him set to carry 10st 8lb in last year’s race.

Aintree, 8th December 2018