Horses To Follow » Nemean Lion

Nemean Lion 

The other horse to take out of Saturday’s Lanzarote Hurdle, as well as the winner, was the runner-up Nemean Lion. Strong in the market beforehand, he travelled well through his race towards the inside, but he got caught in a little bit of traffic towards the inside as they rounded the home turn, and as the wider-racing runners came around him. He was only about 10th as they raced around the crown of the home turn. As well as that, he wasn’t great at the second last flight, and he was even less great at the last, when he made a momentum-checking mistake. That may not have made the difference between victory and defeat, the winner won well, but he might have got even closer than he did.

Kerry Lee’s horse continues to progress, and he saw out this two-mile-five-furlong trip well, which opens up options. Second in a Group 2 race over a mile and seven furlongs on the flat in France when he was with Andre Fabre, this is the longest trip over which he has ever raced, so he has plenty of scope for progression over intermediate trips, or even over further. He won the Grade 2 Premier Novices’ Hurdle at Kelso last March over two and a quarter miles, the longest trip over which he had ever raced before Saturday. The Coral Cup is a legitimate target for him now. He ran well in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November over two miles on his only run to date at the track, and he could do even better over the longer distance of the Coral Cup.

Kempton, 13th January 2024