Horses To Follow » American Mike

American Mike

American Mike is getting there now, we know that he is a high-class horse on his day, and he proved as much when he ran out an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Ten Up Chase at Navan last Sunday. He jumped well and he stayed on well up the hill to hold off the challenge of a talented horse in Nick Rockett, with another talented Willie Mullins horse, Minella Cocooner, back in third. It looked like Gordon Elliott’s horse pulled out a little more when he was challenged, it may be that he won with a little bit in hand, and the winning time was over 20 seconds faster than the time that Young Dev clocked in winning the handicap chase later on the day.

Second to Facile Vega in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2022, American Mike won just once last season over hurdles, but it looked like fences would be the making of him when he beat Fact To File in a beginners’ chase at Navan in November. His reputation suffered a setback when he was beaten in the Grade 1 Faugheen Chase at Limerick, but the ground was very soft that day and, in light of Sunday’s win, you can argue the case that he just didn’t handle it. He was stepping up to three miles for the first time on Sunday, and he saw out the trip well, so that opens up more options for him. His trainer mentioned the Irish National as a potential next target, and that makes lots of sense.

Navan, 11th February 2024