Littlest Obeaux can shoulder weight to glory
19 December 2014
Houblon Des Obeaux has got to have a great chance of following up his win in the Mappin & Webb Silver Cup from 12 months ago.
He ran an absolute cracker to come second in the Hennessy last month and is in the form of his life.
That race can sometimes be quite draining on a horse, but I have to say Houblon Des Obeaux has taken it very, very well.
He’s not that big but he’s a hardy, tough horse who takes his racing well.
He can also carry a big weight, so while he’s top-weight here, he’s accustomed to running well at the top of the handicap.
The ground will be fine for him too. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t want it heavy, so as long as it doesn’t get much softer he’ll be okay.
The Young Master is the talking horse following his disqualification from first place in the Badger Ales Trophy and is the likely favourite.
While he has obvious potential, my horse has been there and done it. He ticks all the boxes – he’s won twice over course and distance – and looks the obvious choice to me.
Worth a Shot
Baradari was declared for the Ladbroke Hurdle, but he’s been withdrawn after being found slightly lame. He is a horse we have always liked and hopefully will have his day in a big handicap hurdle before the season’s out.
Last Shot lines up in the BGC Partners Handicap Chase. He won a similar race to this at Ludlow a year ago and is dropping slowly down the weights having not won since.
He’s usually quite competitive in his races and I see the race has cut up which is encouraging.
One to savour
Last week’s win on Niceonefrankie was very satisfying. I was a little cautious ahead of his win in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, as he seems to always put in his best performance on his seasonal debut, and then struggles to follow it up.
For whatever reason, he showed he can string together two fine performances and I knew I was in with a very good shout from an early stage at Cheltenham.
He was straight into a rhythm and was really attacking his jumps. I took the decision to let him power on, when things were unravelling behind him, and saved just enough for the climb to the winning line.
The handicapper will get to grips with him now and make it very hard for us to follow up but to claim one of the season’s big handicap chases meant it was a case of job done.