James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Twenty-Four
Not much for me to shout about lately! Jamaican Bolt did best of those who lined out to race in the past week, finishing a close fourth (would have been second in another stride) in a 5f handicap at York last Friday. He was the one I was expecting good things of with the soft ground being ideal, but he was slow to stride and simply got too far back before powering home. If anything, he’s too consistent for his own good and the handicapper won’t be giving him much leeway any time soon, which is rather frustrating.
Chilworth Icon also ran in a York handicap, this time over 6f, but he didn’t perform great. The ground was perfect for him as well but the track was always likely to catch him out if he was ridden patiently and that’s how it panned out as he was always too far back. I don’t think he was disgraced considering it was a decent affair in which the pace held up far too well (can happen there), so I’ll give him one last chance next time.
I’m waiting for Monsieur Chevalier to return to the All-Weather so will be keeping the faith with him, perhaps foolishly. He’s not firing of late and didn’t achieve a whole pile at Goodwood on Sunday, finishing sixth of 12, but I’m hopeful of him bouncing back before too long when strutting his stuff on the artificial surfaces again.
A couple of others ran. Magic Hurricane was one of those in a good quality handicap at York and although he weakened into fifth place late on, he didn’t run horribly at all. I still think he remains a horse of some potential and given his previous with polytrack, it’ll be interesting to see whether James Fanshawe keeps him in training over the winter. He has been on the go since April so it’s hard to know what will be done but I’ll be keeping him on side. Richard Fahey’s Shot In The Sun, on the other hand, is removed following a poor spin at York, as is Polski Max who disappointed at Windsor today despite having his ground and running in the right sort of race. He can win again but enough is definitely enough at this stage.
HTF representatives with entries this coming week; Chilworth Icon, Confessional, Fort Bastion, Jamaican Bolt, Mezzotint, Secret Witness & Showboating.
Horses To Follow – Week Twenty-Four:
Drop Out Joe (10th October) –
Trying to gauge how good novice chasers could be is a next to impossible task, but Drop Out Joe always looked like one who could excel in this code when he was running over the smaller obstacles last term and I’m really interested to see how the 6-year-old’s career will pan out. His final start over hurdles came in March and didn’t exactly go to plan, but it’s entirely possible that his second at Doncaster three weeks previously sent him over the top and he was certainly all the better for the subsequent lay-off when returning to make his chasing debut in a five-runner affair at Carlisle on Friday. There, bar a few novicey leaps, he put in a splendid round of fencing and looked a natural, something Charlie Longsdon said he had the potential to be. It wasn’t a great race in truth but it did come over 2m 4f and he’s a 3m+ performer in my eyes, so hopefully he’s set to go onto bigger, better things.
Showboating (10th October) –
Showboating was on the HTF list earlier in the season but never got his ground, wasn’t in great form anyway, and quickly came off it. However, this is the time of year when he really came up trumps in 2013 and won two heavy ground handicaps in the space of ten days, both over 7f at Catterick. He currently holds an entry in the first of those races that he won and I thought that he put up a half-decent effort at York on Friday to finish in mid-division in a hot event for apprentice jockeys. In truth, he didn’t get the finest ride I’ve ever seen and, added to that, he missed the break and ran into trouble up the straight having been too far back, so there are reasons to upgrade the bare form, definitely. If he’s given sterner handling at the weekend and gets to race on really testing ground again, it could get interesting. If it doesn’t (possible; he’s quite a tricky ride), he’ll come off the list rather quickly!!
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