With PETIT MOUCHOIR apparently playing up badly in preliminaries and then taking on SAINT CLAVADOS from the word go this race was well and truly set up for FOOTPAD who won this in the style of a really good horse.
I get the impression from the stable that they think FOOTPAD is better prospect thatn Min so 2m chasing should still be his game next season despite the obligatory announcement from Willie Mullins that he could go for the Gold Cup. I thought he may well have learned his lesson from the past three Festivals where the likes of VAUTOUR (deceased), YORKHILL and DOUVAN all had the mantle of Gold Cup winner in waiting bestowed upon them but have yet to compete in the race let alone win it. He jumped like a buck and showed real pace and power to suggest races like the Tingle Creek and Clarence House Chases could be ideal next season. I’m certain ALTIOR will step-up in trip next season which would leave the 2m chasing wide open for him to dominate.
Could PETIT MOUCHOIR be another SIZING JOHN? Given how badly he apparently played up before the race and how much of an early battle he had with SAINT CALVADOS there was no way he was going to last home. Yet he plodded on fine once headed and given how his profile looks I’m certain we’ll see the best of him once he’s upped in trip.
SAINT CALVADOS was exposed for what he probably is – a flat track bully. Once he couldn’t best PETIT MOUCHOIR in the early stages he seemed to sulk and throw the towel in. Be very surprised were he to go on and win a Grade 1 at any stage.
BRAIN POWER stayed on for second past a tired PETIT MOUCHOIR and there’s not much really to say on him other han he showed battling qualities I never knew he had. That said he was miles behind the winner and it is hard to think where he’ll be seen to best effect as he’s surely too high for a decent handicap now (?).