Horses To Follow » *Sharp Response

Sharp Response

The performance that Sharp Response put up in finishing third in the ultimately voided London National may have gone under the radar. Held up early on by Adam Wedge, Sue Smith’s horse jumped well, and he made nice progress down the back straight. He travelled best of all to the end of the back straight and, while he lost his position a little as they left the back straight, when he appeared to lose concentration, he was back travelling well and back in the front rank as they rounded the home turn. He just wasn’t as strong as the two older horses Doing Fine and Dark Flame from the final fence, but he kept on well. The first three were well clear of their rivals, and the winner, Doing Fine, came out and won the stayers’ handicap chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

It was another good run by Sharp Response. Winner of a handicap chase at Catterick last January over three miles and six furlongs, he put up another good performance on his previous run to finish second to Crievehill in a three-and-a-quarter-mile handicap chase at Haydock on Betfair Chase day. He was beaten 10 lengths by Crievehill, but he finished a good second, racing from off the pace in a race in which the winner and third both raced prominently, and the race was run in a good time, around a second faster than the time that Lostintranslation clocked in winning the Betfair Chase. Sharp Response is still relatively young for a staying chaser, and he could be a well-handicapped horse now on a mark of 138. He is probably at his best over an extended distance and on good or good to soft ground.

Sandown, 7th December 2019