Horses To Follow » *Lord Napier

Lord Napier

Lord Napier ran a big race to finish third in the Lanzarote Hurdle. Settled in midfield, he came under pressure and lost his place a bit on the run down the side of the track. But he responded to that pressure, and he arrived there in the front rank at the second last flight. Both Big Time Dancer and Solomon Grey were travelling better than him at that point, but he still stayed on strongly to get close to that pair, and he pulled six lengths clear of the fourth horse Star Of Lanka.

Winner of a novices’ handicap hurdle over 2m 4f at Perth last April, Peter Bowen’s horse shaped on his previous run at Ascot over two miles as if he would do better is he stepped back up in trip, and that proved to be the case. This was probably a career-best from him, and he should do better with an even stiffer test over this trip, a stiffer track or easier ground or both. A three-time winner on soft ground, he should do better as the ground eases. The handicapper raised him by 4lb to a mark of 134, but he was deserving of a hike of that type of magnitude and, still only six, he has the potential to progress beyond his new mark.

Kempton, 12th January 2019