Horses To Follow » The Cob

The Cob

The Cob ran well for a long way in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle that opened proceedings at Sandown last Sunday. Weak in the market beforehand on this, his seasonal debut, he shied at the tape a little, and lost a good few lengths on the rest of the field as a result. Moved towards the outside then by Luca Morgan, he was keen early on, he pulled his way to the front by the time they got to the first flight. He did settle a little better in front, but that was after he has established a clear break on the rest of the field, setting a decent pace on the heavy ground. He led down the back straight and, while his jumping was good, it wasn’t ideal that he had to be switched quite sharply to his right on the run to the fifth flight in order to stay on the correct course. He travelled well into the home straight, still in front, but he just tired from the second last flight. Even so, he kept on bravely to retain third place, tiring on the run-in to finish 10 lengths behind the winner Halo Des Obeaux.

This was a nice return to action by Ben Pauling’s horse in a race in which he did plenty wrong, and there is every chance that he will progress from it. He is not obviously unexposed, an eight-year-old who has now run 13 times over hurdles, but winner of the Grade 2 River Don Hurdle as a novice, he is a potentially well-handicapped horse now on a mark of 129, 10lb lower than his peak. He does go well on this soft ground, but he should do better with a greater test of stamina. He goes well on flat tracks, his best performances have been at Sandown and Haydock and Doncaster and Newbury, so you can allow him a poor run in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival last March. He will be of interest now in a good staying handicap hurdle ideally on soft ground on a flat track.
Sandown, 6th November 2022