Horses To Follow » Ibleo


Ibleo did well to finish third in the Grand Annual. Wide at the start, widest of all, the plan was obviously to drop him in, but he was stone last jumping the first fence, and he was two lengths behind the second last horse jumping the second. This was a race in which you probably didn’t want to be too far back. The winner, Sky Pirate, raced just behind the leaders from early, while the runner-up, Entoucas, was better than mid-division, and the fourth horse home, On The Slopes, was up with the pace. Ibleo was still stone last of the 23 runners jumping the fourth fence and wheeling away from the stands.

He travelled well down the back straight, but he was still only 13th jumping the fence at the top of the hill. He started to make progress on the run down the hill and, moved to the inside on the run around the home turn, he progressed from 10th as they straightened up for home to a share of sixth place as he jumped the last. He stayed on well up the run-in too, just getting past On The Slopes and into third place, and finishing less than four lengths behind the winner Sky Pirate.

It was another good run by Venetia Williams’ horse. Second behind Sky Pirate in a good handicap chase at Cheltenham’s December meeting off a mark of 137, he won his next two, and he ran a big race on Wednesday off his mark of 154. He continues to progress, and he should do better back on easier ground, or with a stiffer stamina test. He is eight now, but he has run in just eight chases, and he remains progressive on this evidence.
Cheltenham, 17th March 2021