Horses To Follow » Milkwood


Milkwood can be marked up at least a little on the bare form of the performance that he put up in finishing third in the Gerry Feilden Hurdle. Settled towards the rear of the field early on off what was no more than a moderate pace, he jumped well and travelled well through his race for Robbie Dunne. A little keen, but not as keen as some of his rivals, most notably favourite Marie’s Rock and Thyme White, he moved up nicely at the end of the back straight, and he travelled well into the home straight. He made good ground towards the far side on the run to the second last flight, but space was tight over towards the inside at the obstacle, he was squeezed out on the approach to the flight and he was hampered on the landing side when Thyme White unseated his rider in front of him. He lost ground and momentum, and suddenly he was only fifth and eight lengths behind the leader Floressa. Floressa had made just about all the running, and she kicked for home and wasn’t for catching, but Milkwood stayed on well down the near side to take third place, beaten just two lengths.

It was a good run from a progressive horse. Winner of an intermediate hurdle at Ffos Las on his debut this season, he ran well to finish fourth behind Sceau Royal and Ballyandy and Buzz in the Welsh Champion Hurdle back there two weeks later, form that has been enhanced on several occasions since, including by Ballyandy, who finished second in the Greatwood Hurdle next time. Milkwood was taken out of the Greatwood Hurdle because of the soft ground, but he probably maintained his forward march here. There is a danger that he will be over-bet next time, in the way that unlucky-looking losers often are, but he is still a young, talented and progressive horse who should be worth noting wherever he goes next.

Newbury, 28th November 2020