Horses To Follow » Plan Of Attack

Plan Of Attack

Plan Of Attack put up another good performance over Cheltenham’s cross-country course to finish third behind Diesel D’Allier in the Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Handicap Chase last Friday. Starting off just behind the leaders, he drifted back in the field early on, so that he was second last after they jumped the eighth obstacle, and last as they set out on their second circuit. He did well to get back into the race from there. It was a race in which it was probably an advantage to race handily, as it often is in these cross-country races. Still well back in a packing field as they raced down the far side final time, he made a mistake at the fourth last, which didn’t help, and he wasn’t overly fluent at the third last, but he made good ground for Darragh O’Keeffe to move up in behind the leaders over the second last, and he came there on the near side with a big chance on the run to the final obstacle. He just couldn’t go on from there, Diesel D’Allier and Potters Corner got away from him, but he still kept on well up the hill to finish a clear third.

This was Plan Of Attack’s second run at Cheltenham’s cross-country track and, while he was better over the obstacles on this occasion than he was on his debut there in November, he still lacked fluency over the varied obstacles. But he did well to get as close as he did on both occasions, given that he just isn’t a natural at the unique track. He could be a well-handicapped horse now though, back on a conventional track. Henry de Bromhead’s horse has been dropped to a mark of 134 now by the Irish handicapper, 4lb lower than his mark last Friday, and 6lb lower than his peak. Fourth in the Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 off a mark of 140, he was travelling well in the 2021 renewal of the same race when he came down at the third last fence. He obviously goes well at Cheltenham, and he will be of interest if he goes back for the Kim Muir again this season. He has good runs on his CV too though at Aintree and Leopardstown, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.
Cheltenham, 10th December 2021