Horses To Follow » Doc Penfro

Doc Penfro

Doc Penfro put up a really encouraging performance in finishing second to The Big Breakaway in the three-mile novices’ chase that opened proceedings at Cheltenham on Sunday. Weak in the market beforehand, Emma Lavelle’s horse travelled smoothly for Aidan Coleman through his race and his jumping was good. He travelled well down the hill on the inside behind The Big Breakaway and he got close to him on the run to the last. He weakend up the hill, and it never really looked like he was going to get to Colin Tizzard’s horse, but he ran really well to the home turn, when lack of a recent run probably took its toll. He finished clear of The Butcher Said, who admittedly stumbled quite badly on landing over the second last fence.

Doc Penfro is eight now, he is a relatively late recruit to chasing, but he is very lightly raced, he had run just seven times under Rules before Sunday’s race, and never over fences. A faller at the final fence when in front in his only point-to-point, he didn’t win any of his three bumpers, but he won his second race over hurdles for Emma Lavelle at Bangor last December, and he stepped forward from that when he finished second in a Pertemps qualifier at Warwick last January, going down by just a neck to Jessica Harrington’s horse Silver Sheen, with subsequent Newbury winner One For The Team two lengths behind him in third, and the Pertemps Final winner Sire Du Berlais six lengths behind him in fourth. This was his first run since then, and it is reasonable to assume that he should progress from it, at least a little. Rated 136 over hurdles, out of a mare who won over fences and a faller at the final fence when in front in his only point-to-point, he has the potential to go higher over fences.

Cheltenham, 15th November 2020