Horses To Follow » HTF – Britain

Steal A March

Steal A March did well to finish third in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle. Back in the field from early and four wide throughout, he was hampered a little when The Eaglehaslanded fell in front of him at the fourth last flight. That incident took him from mid-division to the rear of the field, and it caused him to lost at least a little momentum. Rider Jack Tudor gave him time to recover his equilibrium as they raced down the hill, and he made some ground between the third last and second last flights. Still only seventh or eighth at that point, he stayed on from there around the home turn. He was only fifth jumping the final flight, but he continued to stay on up the hill to take third place, beaten just two and a half lengths by the winner Castle Robin, closest at the finish.

This was a nice step forward by Nicky Henderson’s horse. Winner of one of his three hurdle races last season, he was a little weak in the market before this, his first run since March. He stays this two-mile-five-furlong trip well, and he could step up to three miles in time. The handicapper raised him by 3lb to a mark of 118, which was fair. He is only five and he has the potential to go a fair way beyond that mark.

Cheltenham, 13th November 2020

Takeit Easy

Takeit Easy can be marked up at least a little on the bare form of the performance that he put up in finishing sixth in the two-mile handicap hurdle. He was held up towards the rear of the field early on, and towards the outside, in a race in which the prominent racers dominated. The first four home occupied four of the first five places from fully a circuit out. As well as that, Takeit Easy was travelling well and making good ground towards the outside at the third last flight when Panic Attack jumped to his right and knocked him sideways. He did well to get back on an even keel, and to make ground towards the leaders on the run to the home turn. His run just flattened out after that, he just couldn’t get to the leaders.

Pam Sly’s horse is a free-going horse who is at his best when he can race behind a fast pace. He was good in winning a two-mile handicap hurdle at Huntingdon on good ground on his previous run, when he battled on well to beat Glimpse Of Gold, who won next time out off a 4lb higher mark. He is 8lb higher now that he was then, but his mark of 117 should be well within range and he will be of interest again now in another two-mile hurdle when a fast pace is likely. All his running has been done on good or good to soft ground, so he probably won’t want the ground to get too testing, and he could do even better when he can get back on better ground.

Cheltenham, 13th November 2020

Lamanver Pippin

Lamanver Pippin did well to finish third in the conditional riders’ handicap chase. Settled towards the rear of the field early on, he was still only sixth as they passed the winning post with a circuit to run, and he was being niggled along a little by William Biddick. The first five got away from him a little as they raced down the back straight, but he managed to get in among the leading quintet as they raced to the top of the hill. He stayed on into second place behind Storm Control as they raced to the home turn, but he had done a lot of running to get to that point, and he just couldn’t get to the winner. In the end, he got to within a length of Storm Control by the time they got to the winning line, although he ultimately ceded second place to the staying on Bermeo close home.

It was a day on which the prominent racers did well on the chase track, Storm Control made all the running here, and Colin Tizzard’s horse did well to get as close to him as he did. The handicapper raised him by 4lb to a mark of 136, but he is only seven and this was just his fourth chase, and his first since he finished third in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, so there is every chance that he will improve from this run. He handles soft ground well and he stays well, and he could be a horse for a good staying handicap chase during the winter. He won a three-mile novices’ handicap chase on soft ground at Chepstow last November, so he would be of interest if he was targeted at the Welsh National back at Chepstow in December.

Cheltenham, 14th November 2020


Whatsupwithyou put up a good performance to finish second to Stimulating Song in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap hurdle. Settled in mid-division early on by Luca Morgan and towards the outside, he made nice ground down the back straight to move into second place behind the leader Topofthecotswolds, and he travelled well down the hill over the third last flight. He jumped that flight well and moved up into a share of the lead on the run to the second last flight, which he jumped in front, then kicked for home. It is a long way though from the second last flight to the winning line on soft ground at Cheltenham in November, and Paddy Brennan made his ground gradually from the rear on Stimulating Song, moved into second place at the top of the home straight, and caught Whatsupwithyou with 100 yards to run.

It was a good run though by Ben Pauling’s horse, it was a nice step forward from his seasonal debut at Cheltenham’s October meeting over the same course and distance, when he finished seventh behind Captain Tom Cat, whom he had nine and a half lengths behind him here. He appeared to appreciate the softer ground here, and the extra premium that it placed on stamina over this trip. The handicapper raised him by 5lb for this to a mark of 137, but he is only six and this was just his fifth run over hurdles, so he still has the scope to go beyond his new mark. He will be of interest wherever he goes now, and he could probably step up to three miles at some point.

Cheltenham, 14th November 2020

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