Horses To Follow » Smarty Wild

Smarty Wild

Smarty Wild did well to get as close as he got to Caribean Boy in the three-mile handicap chase at Kempton last Saturday. Held up early on by Tom O’Brien and racing towards the inside, he made nice ground down the back straight to move into fourth place as they raced around the home turn. He travelled well in behind Wishing And Hoping and Caribean Boy as they straightened up for home, and he jumped the second last fence in a share of the lead with those two. He and Caribean Boy moved on as they raced to the final fence, he was probably a neck or a half a length in front on the approach to the obstacle, but he got in tight and landed flat-footed, as Caribean Boy flew it. He was beaten by two lengths in the end, but he would have been much closer had he jumped the last a little better.

As well as that, Smarty Wild was held up, and he raced towards the inside. It is usually difficult to make ground from the rear over fences at Kempton, unless they go very fast up front, and the winner and third here, Caribean Boy and Wishing And Hoping, were prominent from early. As well as that, the better ground on the chase track on the day may have been towards the outside. Caribean Boy raced wide throughout, Falco Blitz, winner of the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase, raced wide throughout. Smarty Wild did well, probably racing on the slowest ground from flagfall.

Philip Hobbs’ horse still has scope to progress, he has just turned eight and this was just his 10th race over fences. The handicapper raised him by 3lb to a mark of 134, but that mark is well within range, it is 3lb lower than his peak. Also, he was only just beaten on Saturday by a horse who, at his peak, was rated 9lb higher than the mark off which he raced on Saturday, and who had the potential to progress for a step up to three miles, with the pair of them nicely clear. He is effective over two and a half miles, but he stays this three-mile trip well, and he is unexposed over the trip, so this is a good distance for him. He goes well at Kempton, three of the best runs over his career have been there, so he will be of particular interest if and when he returns to the Sunbury track. The Coral Chase, the old Racing Post Chase, at Kempton at the end of February could be an ideal race for him. He could sneak into that race on a low weight off his current mark of 134.
Kempton, 15th January 2022