Horses To Follow » Sternrubin


Sternrubin was unlucky to come down at the second last flight in the two-mile handicap hurdle. Weak in the market in the face of significant support for several of the market leaders, he was quickly into a nice rhythmm for Sean Houlihan along the inside and jumping well. He travelled well down the back straight, and his rider actually had to take a little tug just before they turned to race down the hill to prevent him from hitting the front in front of One True King. He travelled really well down the hill over the third last flight and, even when the ultimate winner Tegerek moved up on his outside, appearing as a real danger, he was able to hold his position easily on the run to the second last. They picked up at the obstacle within a half a length of each other, One True King, Tegerek and Sternrubin in the middle, all three appearing to be travelling well, but Sternrubin just clipped the top of the hurdle and came down. Tegerek and One True King went on to fight out the finish, pulling over seven length clear of Ashington – who was hampered by Sternrubin’s fall – in third. Of course, we don’t know how Sternrubin would have fared, but he appeared to be travelling at least as well as his two rivals, and it is probable that he would have been involved in the finish at worst.

Philip Hobbs’ horse was running a big race on this, his first run since May 2019. He is nine years old now, he is not unexposed, but he is still more than capable off this type of handicap rating of 140 on this evidence. He has form on soft ground, but he is probably at his best on this better ground, and he will be of interest again now, especially if he can get to run on some goodish ground. He could be under-rated again now because he may not be as fashionable as some younger rivals, and the Philip Hobbs horses are starting to run into form now after a slow start to the season.

Cheltenham, 23rd October 2020