Horses To Follow » Pic D’Orhy

Pic D’Orhy

You can understand why all the talk after the two-mile-three-furlong novices’ chase centred on the winner Chantry House. Nicky Henderson’s horse was a high-profile chasing debutant, third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and, sent off at 4/9 on Friday, he ran out an easy winner in the end from his sole remaining rival Up The Straight. Pic D’Orhy departed at the third last fence, but it may pay to retain faith in Paul Nicholls’ horse.

There are risks, of course. He has now fallen in two of his three chases, and he was beaten by Le Patriote at Market Rasen in October in the other. Yet he travelled and jumped really well through his race on Friday. He was fluent over his obstacles, and it looked like he had Chantry House in trouble as they raced to the third last fence. Pic D’Orhy just met the fence wrong, he got in tight to it, clipped the top of it and came down. It was a real novicey fall.

He remains a talented individual though, and he is still really interesting as a novice chaser. He won the Betfair Hurdle last February off a mark of 146 and, from a chasing family, he retains the potential to do well over fences. This intermediate trip looks like a good trip for him, the extended two miles at Market Rasen on good ground in October was probably too sharp, and he will be of interest wherever he goes now. Only 10th in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2019, it may be that he will be at his best on flatish tracks. The Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown in February would be an interesting medium range target if connections continue down the chasing route, with perhaps a confidence-booster in the interim.

Ascot, 20th November 2020