Roc can roll on better ground

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: November 20 2012, 18:18 GMT

David John with the latest update on National Hunt Notebook 2012/13 horses to follow.

Tom George: Trains Roc d'Apsis

Tominator and Third Intention were both in action over the weekend at Cheltenham and despite the pair being beaten, I still think they have something to offer moving forward.

The former was stepped up in grade after his easy win on hurdles debut at Bangor but was found out by a sedate early pace and a rather ponderous hurdling technique at this level.

That said, he was not disgraced behind Dodging Bullets and the feeling is that he can still make an impact once he gains a bit more experience and perhaps has his reserves of stamina tested to a greater extent.

He might not be able to make it to the very top among the novice hurdlers this season but remains of interest if sent down the handicapping route, where a good prize could go his way.

Third Intention bumped into a couple of smart ones on Sunday in the shape of Captain Conan and Sire De Grugy in the Grade 2 novice chase and he ran a sound race in third place.

There was some support for him in the betting prior to the off and his performance in third place hinted that he could also be effective if tackling a longer trip at some stage over fences.

He looks to be going in the right direction as he reversed the form of his previous outing with His Excellency on the same weight terms and at just five years old, will surely add to his tally.

Notable eyecatchers were once again thin on the ground but I did like the display of Tom George's Roc d'Apsis on his English debut in the juvenile contest at Prestbury Park.

George has never been afraid to let what he thinks is a decent horse have a crack at a nice pot and the dual winner in France on the level was pitched straight into Grade 2 company.

He was under pressure from Paddy Brennan down the back straight and had ground to make up coming down the hill but showed more than enough behind Far West and Vasco Du Ronceray to suggest he can win an ordinary event at the vey least sooner rather than later.

He did get pretty tired in the closing stages on what was very testing ground so expect him to step up if given a chance in less gruelling conditions for a young horse.


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