Past Winners » Forest Bihan


Of the two at the top of the market in the Old Roan Chase, I prefer Kalashnikov to Frodon.  Frodon is an unbelievable horse, he and Bryony Frost combined to produce one of the stories of last season, but he is short enough today on his seasonal debut, racing off a mark that is 11lb higher than the mark off which he won this race last year.

Kalashnikov is the correct favourite in my book.  He is young and progressive and he is classy, and he put up his best performance over fences when he won the Manifesto Chase over today’s course and distance in April.  But he is short, and there is a chance that he will have bigger targets this season.  This may be just a stepping stone into the season for him.

By contrast, this is probably Forest Bihan’s target.  Brian Ellison’s horse hasn’t won since he won a bumper at Newcastle in March 2018, but he has run some good races in defeat, including in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham in March, when he kept on well to finish fourth off a mark of 153.

He is 4lb lower today, and that gives him a chance.  He is stepping up to two and a half miles for the first time since his hurdling days.  It is a bit of an unknown, but he has shaped for a while as if a step up in trip would suit him, and it is interesting that he held an entry in the two-mile chase at Cheltenham yesterday.  Connections are obviously intent on having a go here instead.

He had a nice prep run at Kelso three weeks ago.  That should have put him spot on for today, for a race that has probably been his target for a while.