Horses To Follow » Gentle Slopes

Gentle Slopes

Gentle Slopes shaped encouragingly in finishing third in the two-mile-one-furlong novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday. Always prominent behind a decent pace that leader Attacca set, he moved into second place behind the clear leader at the top of the hill, but he wasn’t great at the second last flight, and he came under a ride. He couldn’t respond when Master Chewy moved up on his outside around the home turn, travelling better, and he dropped to a share of last place on the run to the final flight. He stayed on well up the run-in though. The first two kicked away, but he got up for third place just in front of Timeforatune on the line.

It was a decent performance by Milton Harris’ horse on his hurdling debut, but he shaped as if he would do better with a stiffer stamina test, softer ground or a faster pace or a step up in trip, or a combination thereof. A point-to-point winner for Donnchadh Doyle, he won two of his three bumpers, the most recent a listed contest at Cheltenham’s November meeting. He is a half-brother to On The Slopes, who was at his best over two and two and a quarter miles, but he is also a half-brother to Sauvignon, who won over almost three miles, and he is out of a mare who won over two miles and five furlongs. He should progress from this, his first run over hurdles, and he will be interesting again now, especially if and when he steps up in trip.
Cheltenham, 9th December 2022