Horses To Follow » Knappers Hill

Knappers Hill

You have to love the way that Knappers Hill continues to progress, and he was good again in winning the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last Saturday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Harry Cobden, he had his three rivals on the stretch from a long way out. Sceau Royal moved menacingly in behind him at the top of the home straight, as the pair of them came away from Knight Salute and Milkwood, but Knappers Hill found lots for pressure. Sceau Royal came under a ride at the second last, and he couldn’t really get close to Knappers Hill, who kept on willingly all the way to the line.

It was a fine performance by Paul Nicholls’ horse. Sceau Royal had won the last two renewals of this race (as well as the 2016 renewal), you can be sure that it was a big target for him this season again, that he would have been primed for it, and Knappers Hill beat him well, with the pair of them finishing well clear of two 145-rated rivals. This was a one-mile-seven-furlong contest on a flat track on fast ground, it was a sharper-than-ideal test for Knappers Hill, and he isn’t usually a front-runner, but he did everything really impressively. He is seriously progressive, this was his fourth win on the spin, and it opens up new options for him, both in terms of class-rise and in terms of tactics. It appeared as if he enjoyed himself out in front. He holds an entry in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday, and he wouldn’t be out of place in that Grade 1 contest.
Wincanton, 5th November 2022