Horses To Follow » Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico was impressive in winning the three-mile novices’ handicap chase at Chepstow on Friday on his chasing bow. He started off at the rear of the field, and he was a little high and deliberate at the first fence, and he was a little careful at some of his fences early on behind a sedate pace, but he warmed to his task well. His jumping got better as the race progressed and the pace picked up, he hit the front at the fourth last fence, and he stayed on strongly over the last three fences to win well.

It was an impressive performance by Kim Bailey’s horse on his chasing bow, his first run since he was pulled up in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. He had won his previous three hurdle races and, a point-to-point winner for Colin Bowe, he could be an interesting staying novice chaser for the season ahead. The handicapper raised him by 8lb for Friday’s win to a mark of 141, but, still only six, he has bundles of scope for progression. That was his first run back too after a wind operation, and it was his first run in a tongue-tie. The ground was officially good to soft for his race on Friday, but it was changed to soft after this race, so it is safe to assume that it was at least soft for his race too, as the rains came down. His three wins last season over hurdles were on good to soft ground, but he won his bumper on soft ground, and he will remain of interest over fences as we move into the winter. In the longer term, he does go well at Chepstow, he is two for two there now, and he could be a Welsh National horse for the future.

Chepstow, 13th October 2023