Horses To Follow » Destrier


Destrier ran well to finish third behind Janika and Dolos in the Haldon Gold Cup.  Always prominent, Dan Skelton’s horse shared the early pace-setting duties with Charbel before moving on from that rival as they jumped the sixth last fence.  He travelled well and his jumping was fast and accurate, if a little to his left, and he travelled best of all in front into the home straight. He was passed by Janika when he made a mistake at the first fence in the home straight, and Janika stayed on more strongly, but Destrier still kept on well over the last three fences to take third place, just four lengths behind the talented winner.

This was Destrier’s seasonal debut, and it was just his fourth chase.  It was his first chase at a right-handed track, and he was a little out to his left, so it may be that he can improve again for a switch back to a left-handed track.  He won his first two chases last season, and he finished third behind Ornua and Us And Them, who were both rated 151, in the Grade 1 Maghull Chase on his final run last season, when he got back into it after making a mistake at the third fence.  The handicapper raised him from a mark of 142 to a mark of 151 after that, and he proved on Tuesday that he was up to that type of mark.  He is only six, he has lots of scope to progress this season, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next, especially if it is back at a left-handed track. He might do better too with less of a test of stamina than that presented by a stiff two miles and one and a half furlongs at Exeter.

Exeter, 5th November 2019