Horses To Follow » Asian Master

Asian Master

Asian Master ran well in the Surpreme Novices’ Hurdle. Widest of all for much of the race, he still travelled well to the home turn, just about three lengths behind the leaders. He got caught a little flat-footed when they quickened there, and he was a little deliberate at the final flight, but he still kept on well up the hill to take fourth place, just over five lengths behind the winner Slade Steel, and just a neck behind third-placed Firefox.

Initially thought-of as a hunter chaser, Marie Costello’s horse had long-since proven that he was better than a horse who should be confined to hunter chases. Ridden by his owner’s son Thomas in all his races to date, he was two for two over hurdles going into the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, and the form of those two wins worked out really well at Cheltenham. The horse who finished second to him at Thurles in December, Jimmy Du Seuil, finished second behind Ballyburn in the Gallagher Hurdle, while the horse who finished second to him at Navan in January, Better Days Ahead, won the Martin Pipe Hurdle. Amateur rider Thomas Costello could claim his 7lb at Thurles and at Navan, but he couldn’t claim his 7lb in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Asian Master is seven now, he was the oldest horse in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle field, but he is really lightly-raced for his age. A point-to-point winner and a grandson of quadruple Grade 1 winner Asian Maze, he will be of interest wherever he goes next this season over hurdles, and he could be a really interesting novice chaser for next season.

Cheltenham, 12th March 2024