Horses To Follow » Hochfeld


Hochfeld did well in the end to finish third in the Chester Cup on last Friday. Well drawn in stall two, Ben Curtis quickly had the Cape Cross gelding in a good position, around the inside and settled nicely in a share of fifth place. He had a ground-saving route all the way around, but he needed the gaps to appear later in the race in order that he could deliver his challenge, and they didn’t. He probably travelled best of all past the three-furlong marker, but his rider had to wait before he could move off the rail and engineer racing room for himself, and he had to drop back a little in order that he could do that. No better than ninth or 10th when they straightened up for home with a furlong and a half to run, he wheeled to the outside and stayed on strongly through the final furlong to get up for third place, two lengths behind the winner Falcon Eight and just a half a length behind The Grand Visir in second.

Mark Johnston’s horse has had lots of running, he is not an obviously unexposed horse, but he seems to have re-discovered his best form this season, and there could be a good stayers’ handicap in him now off his new mark of 99, just 1lb higher than the mark off which he raced on Friday. Second in a couple of listed races over a mile and a half in 2018, when he reached a peak rating of 103, he won a handicap over a mile and six furlongs at Nottingham late last month off a mark of 94, and he was only just beaten by The Trader in a good handicap at Hamilton off a mark of 98, when he stayed on well at the end of that one-mile-five-furlong trip. He stayed the two and a quarter miles okay on Friday, but it may be that two miles is his optimum trip, especially at a more conventional track.
Chester, 7th May 2021