Horses To Follow » Martator


A lot of the talk after the two-and-a-half-mile Josh Gifford Novices’ Handicap Chase at Sandown on Saturday centred around how unlucky Terresita was, that she would have won if she hadn’t come down at the second last fence. And, true enough, she had moved into her race well from the rear, off a fast pace that Nickle Back set before he wilted. But that may mean that Martator may not get the recognition that he should get for winning the race. And given the way that he bounced up the hill away from favourite Outlaw Peter, it is not certain that he wouldn’t have seen off Terresita anyway. Venetia Williams’ horse raced up quite close to the pace too. His jumping was very good, and he moved on ahead of Nickle Back as they left the back straight and faced up to The Pond Fence.

This was his 25th run, he is not obviously unexposed, but he is only seven and it was just his ninth run over fences. More importantly, he is on a really nice upward trajectory. This was his third win on the bounce, he was winning here off a handicap rating of 127 having won off marks of 118 and 122 on his previous two runs. He was raised by another 7lb for this, but there is every chance that he can progress again. Third behind Theleme in a Grade 1 four-year-olds’ hurdle in France in November 2021, and second in the Grade 1 Prix Alain du Breil in France in May 2021, he is obviously classy, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next. He is effective over two miles, but he stays two and a half miles well, and that is probably his optimum trip. He goes well on this goodish ground too.

Sandown, 27th April 2024