Horses To Follow » Hacker Des Places

Hacker Des Places

Hacker Des Places did well to finish third in the Imperial Cup at Sandown on the Saturday before Cheltenham. Prominent from early, he raced toward the inside the whole way, and he was keener than ideal early on. Just behind the front rank as they straightened up for home, Angus Cheleda just gave him a squeeze on the run to the second last flight, and he picked up nicely, jumped that flight in third place and moved into second on the landing side. He was quickly passed by Suprise Package on the near side, but he kept on well up the hill on the far side to retain third place.

It was a good run by Paul Nicholls’ horse, racing handily and towards the inside in a race in which it was probably an advantage to be held up and to race wide. It was a nice step forward from his previous run at Chepstow, when he made all the running to win a five-runner handicap off a mark of 129. He raced off a mark of 133 on Saturday, he is up to a mark of 136 now, but that is a mark that should be well within range. He is only five, and this was just his eighth run over hurdles, so he has the potential to improve again. He proved here that he is able to cope with the rough and tumble of a big-field handicap. He holds an entry in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr on Saturday, and he would be of interest if he lined up in that.
Sandown, 12th March 2022