Friday, April 20, 2012

Flynn shapes like potential decent staying novice chaser next term

Kempton’s final jumps card of the current campaign was generally a run-of-the-mill affair, unless you were following the Kempton odds, but the victory of the Philip Hobbs-trained Fighting Flynn did not pass unnoticed, as he got off the mark over hurdles at the fifth time of asking. He looks to be heading very much in the right direction, writes Elliot Slater.

Sent off the 15/8 market leader for the Flag Soprema Waterproofing Classic Novices’ Hurdle, the seven-year-old, who only made his belated racecourse debut in November of last year, was sent straight into the lead by Tom O’Brien.

He looked to have a big fight on his hands at the second last, when joined by Nicky Henderson’s strong travelling horse, Top of the Range. O’Brien’s mount dug in though, and forged on again after the last, eventually running out a three-quarters-of-a-length winner from Henrietta Knight’s fast finishing, Ballypatrick, as Top Of The Range faded into third.

 The further they went, the better Hobbs’ gelding travelled, and having shown the right attitude over this two-mile-five-furlong trip, there is every reason to believe that three miles and a crack at the larger obstacles, next term, should hold no terrors for the still relatively unexposed stayer.

O’Brien suggested after the race that all Fighting Flynn does is “stay and stay and stay”, and this sort will surely be given plenty of schooling after his summer break, before returning next term in the guise of a first season novice chaser.

Flynn could well turn out to be one to follow, having shown ability prior to his Kempton win, when second at Ascot, in December, and when a respectable third at Newbury, last month, in what might well turn out to be a contest worth keeping an eye on.

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