Horses To Follow » Champagne Mystery

Champagne Mystery

Champagne Mystery was really impressive in winning the two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap chase. Sent to the front from flagfall by Nico de Boinville, it looked like he was racing a little keenly through the early stages of the race, he is a keen-going sort. But he jumped well, he quickly had his rivals’ jumping under pressure. He was particularly fast at the cross fence, he kicked on around the home turn and, quite quickly, he had set up an unassailable lead. He stayed on well over the last three fences too to post an impressive victory.

This was a fine performance from Nicky Henderson’s horse on his chasing bow and his first run since last April. He didn’t win over hurdles, and he was zero for two in point-to-points, but he finished second in three of his four races over hurdles last season (he ran out in the other through no fault of his own), including at Ayr in April when he was just caught close home. He is rated 129 over hurdles, but he jumped his fences so well here that he has the potential to go higher over fences now. He should improve too as he learns to settle a little better. He stayed this two-and-a-half-mile trip well and, if he learns to settle a little better, he could improve dramatically.

Aintree, 9th November 2019