Horses To Follow » Fontana Ellissi

Fontana Ellissi

Fontana Ellissi put up a good performance to finish second behind Annual Invictus in the three-mile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham last Saturday. Held up at the back of the field early on by Robbie Dunne, he made good progress from the second last flight. He got in tight to the last, the usual second last, which wasn’t ideal, but, only sixth as they raced to the home turn, he stayed on well from there. He was short of room as they raced around the by-passed final fence, his rider has to check his momentum at that point and, moved towards the far side, he stayed on best of all to move into second place, going down by three parts of a length in the end.

Samuel Drinkwater’s horse did well to get as close as he did. It was a race in which the pace held up well, the winner made just about all the running and the third horse, Sidi Ismael, raced in second place from early, while the fourth horse, Punxsutawney Phil, raced in third from the top of the hill. Fontana Ellissi did well to get in among them from the rear, and he wasn’t helped by having his momentum checked in the home straight. The handicapper raised him by just 2lb for this to a mark of 120, and that was more than fair. He is not obviously unexposed, this was his 17th run over hurdles, but he is only six, and this was his first run over three miles. He has the scope to progress now at this distance and, while he probably wouldn’t want the ground to be too testing, good to soft is fine.
Cheltenham, 12th November 2022