Horses To Follow » Deere Mark

Deere Mark

Deere Mark only got home by a length and a half in the end in the two-mile handicap hurdle that concluded proceedings at Kempton on Saturday, but he travelled like the most likely winner from a long way out, and there could be more to come from him now. Settled in fourth place early on, he was big at the first flight of hurdles and his jumping lacked fluency thereafter. He didn’t really make mistakes as such, but he just wasn’t sharp, he spent plenty of time negotiating his obstacles. Even so, he travelled well around the home turn in fourth place, moved easily into the home straight behind the ridden-along Kaleb. He moved up to join the leader on the run to the last, travelling easily, and he found plenty on the run-in to go on from that rival, leaving the impression that he was only doing as much as he needed to do.
It was a good day for Sam Thomas, this win coming just 50 minutes after he had won the Classic Chase at Warwick with Iwilldoit, and Deere Mark looks like an exciting recruit. Winner of his bumper at Hereford last March, he got off the mark over hurdles on his third attempt, back at Hereford just before Christmas. This was a nice step forward from that, as he got the better of Kaleb, himself a progressive five-year-old who had got to within seven lengths of the Tolworth Hurdle winner Tahmuras at Haydock on his previous run, with the pair of them finishing nicely ahead of Head Law, who had been strong in the market and who travelled well into his race.

A 6lb hike for Deere Mark was more than fair and, a six-year-old who has raced just four times over hurdles, he has bags of scope for progression now. He holds an entry in the Betfair Hurdle, and he could be an interesting contender in that. A strong pace and a big field should suit him well and, if he can improve the fluency of his jumping just a little, he could go well in that race if he gets to line up in it.
Kempton, 14th January 2023