Horses To Follow » *Topofthegame

Topofthegame

Topofthegame ran a big race to finish second to La Bague Au Roi in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Chase.  Paul Nicholls’ horse was keener than ideal through the early stages of the race, and he wasn’t very fluent at the first fence, but he settled into a nice racing rhythm, and his jumping was good in the main.  He travelled really well behind La Bague Au Roi down the side of the track, and he looked a likely winner when he moved to the front on the run to the second last fence.  But La Bague Au Roi is tough, she battled back gamely on the far side, and it is probable that Topofthegame’s early free-going exertions took their toll.  Even so, he ran all the way to the line to finish second, a length and a half behind Warren Greatrex’s mare, and two lengths in front of Santini, with the first three clear in a good time.

This was just Topofthegame’s second run this season, and his second since a wind operation.  He ran a remarkable race on his seasonal debut in a hot novices’ chase at Exeter, when he stood still at the start, gave his rivals about 20l, but managed to work his way through the field to finish second behind Defi Du Seuil, in front of Black Op and White Moon.  A faller on his chasing debut in a beginners’ chase at Newbury last season, he remained over hurdles for the rest of last term, finishing fourth in the Lanzarote Hurdle and winning the Heroes Hurdle at Sandown, but it was always over fences that his future lay.  He has just turned seven, and he has lots of potential for progression. He is an exciting young staying chaser, and he could do even better if he can learn to settle a little better early on.

Kempton, 26th December 2018