Horses To Follow » *Minella Charmer

Minella Charmer

Minella Charmer put up a game performance to win the two-mile conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle. He got into a nice rhythm in front for Charlotte Jones. He jumped the first better than Top Gamble, who might have challenged him for the lead, and he jumped well out in front, unharried. Top Gamble did challenge him early in the home straight, and Fin And Game appeared as a big danger on the run to the last, but Minella Charmer saw them all off and, despite making a mistake at the last, he stayed on strongly.

This was Jimmy Moffatt’s horse’s first run since March, and he was weak enough in the market beforehand, so he could come on at least a little for it. His trainer said afterwards that he was ready today, that he had just been waiting for the soft ground, and he does go well fresh. Even so, a 5lb hike was fair. He is nine now, but his last three runs have been up there with the best of his life, and his latest run was probably a career-best. He goes well at Haydock, he goes well on other left-handed tracks too, Newcastle and Newbury, he does tend to jump to his left. But he is in top form and, on this ground, bowling along in front, he can be a difficult horse to peg back.

Haydock, 21st December 2019