Horses To Follow » *Sykes

Sykes

Sykes did well to finish as close as he did in the three-mile handicap hurdle. Sent to the front from flagfall by Matt Griffiths, he raced around the inside the whole way, probably on the slowest part of the track. Four horses raced around the inside here and four horses raced around the outside, and Sykes was the only one of the four who raced around the inside who finished in the first four. He led for a long way too, he led on the run down the hill and he led around the home turn, having seen off the challenge of Burrows Park. He led at the last flight too, he didn’t wilt until Sunset Showdown and Tobefair challenged on either side of him and closed him out a little. He was well beaten into third place in the end, but he can probably be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of the run.

Nicky Martin’s horse is 10 now rising 11, but he remains a capable performer on this evidence. He raced just three times last season, he finished second in this race on his debut last term, and he won a Pertemps qualifier at Haydock in February on his second. He raced off a mark of 147 here and, on this evidence, he is up to that mark. He goes well at Haydock and he obviously goes well at Cheltenham, and he can operate on good ground as well as on this heavy ground. He holds an entry in the Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Haydock on Betfair Chase day and he will be of interest if he lines up in that, at a track at which he has won once in two attempts. He could be under-rated when he races next.

Cheltenham, 26th October 2019