Horses To Follow » Corach Rambler

Corach Rambler 

Corach Rambler did really well to win the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Tuesday. He missed the break, he was slow at the first fence and he got in tight to the second, with the result that he was second last of the 24 runners as they raced away from the stands with two circuits to run. Rider Derek Fox didn’t panic, he allowed his horse find his rhythm, he was still second last after they had gone another circuit. He didn’t start making ground until they started to race down the hill final time. Still travelling well over the third last fence, his rider didn’t ask him for his effort until they raced to the home turn. Still no better than eighth or ninth as they started around the home turn, he picked up well, jumped the second last fence in fifth place, moved into third at the last, and stayed on strongly up the hill to hit the front with a hundred yards to run, before going on to win by almost three lengths.

This was a race in which the early pace was not strong and, consequently, it should have been difficult for the hold-up horses to make up the ground. Of the other three horses who raced out the back with him early on, two of them were pulled up and one of them, Belargus, finished 15th. Corach Rambler made up a lot of ground late on, into a quickening pace, and he won going away, probably with more in hand than the bare winning margin.

The handicapper raised Lucinda Russell’s horse by 8lb for this to a mark of 148, but he has the potential to go higher still. This was just his sixth run over fences, and there is room for improvement in the fluency of his jumping. It was his second win from as many runs at Cheltenham, he obviously likes it there, but he is one for one at Aintree too, he won a novices’ handicap chase there in October, so he will be of interest if he goes to Aintree now, for the three-mile handicap chase on Grand National day. He is in the Scottish National too and, while that may come up too soon, just 18 days after the Ultima, he should be worth following for the future. He could be a horse for the Ladbrokes Trophy in November.
Cheltenham, 15th March 2022