Horses To Follow » Zhiguli


Zhiguli ran well again to finish fourth in the two-mile-three-furlong handicap chase at Ascot on Saturday. Settled well along the inside and towards the rear of the nine-runner field, he was a little novicey over some of his fences, but he warmed up as the race progressed. He moved into fourth place as they raced to the home turn and, while he couldn’t match the pace that Palmers Hill and Diego Du Charmil showed, he stayed on well to finish a clear fourth, just failing by a length to catch Knight In Dubai for third.

It was interesting that Gary Moore dropped the Flemensfirth gelding back down to this intermediate trip, given that his previous two chases were over three miles at Lingfield. He won well on his chasing debut on soft ground, but he was a little keen next time on better ground, and could only finish fourth behind Fantastikas. He settled well on Saturday, behind that faster pace that the drop in distance and the step up in class generated and, if he can learn to settle better over longer trips, he could take a significant step forward. This was just his third chase, so there is every chance that he will learn to settle better as he gains experience. He goes well on soft ground too, so he will remain of interest as we move more deeply into the winter.
Ascot, 18th December 2021