Horses To Follow » Silver Hallmark

Silver Hallmark

Much of the focus after the Grade 2 Altcar Chase at Haydock on Saturday centred on Allart, and his departure at the second fence in the back straight, and it was a pity that he didn’t stand up, because it might have been a good race between him and the winner Silver Hallmark. Fergal O’Brien’s horse got into a good rhythm in front for Adam Wedge. His jumping was assured, with the exception of the third fence in the back straight, the fence after the one at which Allart departed, and he had his two remaining rivals on the stretch from the top of the home straight. He picked up well from that point, he jumped the four fences in the home straight well, and he stayed on well up the run-in to come away from Marown, with Galahad Quest well back, third of the three finishers.

While his task was rendered easier than it might have been by Allart’s departure, Silver Hallmark could not have done much more than he did. He travelled and jumped like a talented individual, he appeared to win with a fair bit more in hand than the bare winning margin and he clocked a good time. The Shirocco gelding beat McFabulous in winning his maiden hurdle at Chepstow in November last season and, while he was well beaten in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle next time, that just wasn’t his running, on soft ground at Sandown, and he didn’t race again last season.

He was only just beaten by the Tolworth Hurdle winner Fiddlerontheroof on his chasing bow at Exeter on his debut this season, and this was a nice step forward from that. He handled the heavy ground well, although his trainer said afterwards that he probably didn’t want it quite as heavy as it was. His trainer also said that he didn’t enter him in any of the Cheltenham Festival novice races, he feels that he needs more experience, but that he could run at Aintree if the ground came up soft. The Altcar Chase has been won in the past by Taquin Du Seuil and Bristol De Mai and Waiting Patiently, and Silver Hallmark is an exciting novice chaser who could be a little under the radar.
Haydock, 23rd January 2021