Horses To Follow » Mystical Clouds

Mystical Clouds

Mystical Clouds only scraped home in the end in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase, but he had to overcome some adversity to get there, and he can probably be marked up on the bare performance. He was held up early on, which is not always an ideal strategy over fences at Kempton. They did appear to go fast up front, though, which helped. He started to make ground as they raced down the back straight. He wasn’t helped by a mistake at the penultimate fence in the back straight, but Keep Wondering made a mistake at the last fence on that part of the track, and that allowed him move up on the inside just behind the leaders as they rounded the home turn. He and Templepark moved on at the third last fence and, when that rival came down at the second last, Mystical Clouds appeared to idle in front. He looked in danger when Aintree My Dream challenged on the run-in, but he appeared to pick up a little again as they went to the line. He probably won with a fair bit more in hand than the narrow winning margin.

Alan King’s horse was progressive in a curtailed term last season as a novice hurdler, he finished third behind Pym – now rated 152 over fences – and The Cashel Man – now rated 147 over hurdles – in a novices’ hurdle at Kempton over a year ago on his final run last season. His first two runs over fences this season were encouraging, and he was well backed before Saturday’s race, so he should be able to build on it. The handicapper raised him by 4lb to a mark of 127 but that is just his hurdles mark, and he has the potential to go higher over fences now. He is only seven and he has raced just three times over fences now. He appears to go well right-handed, he has run well over fences at Sandown and Leicester and obviously at Kempton, and he has run well over hurdles at Ludlow. There could be more to come from him, probably on good or good to soft ground.

Kempton, 22nd February 2020