Santini Makes Impressive Chasing Debut at Newbury
The Nicky Henderson trained Santini looks to have a very bright future over fences after landing the Grade Two novice chase at Newbury on Saturday, on what was his first start over the bigger obstacles. The six year old had just four races under his belt before the race on Saturday, all over hurdles and he had won three out of the four. His only defeat came at Cheltenham last season, but he did make amends for that by winning a Grade One at Aintree to round off his season.
This year he goes novice chasing, and even before his first ever run over fences, people were already speaking about him as a Gold Cup horse for the future. Staying looks to be the name of the game for him, and with a solid round of jumping considering it was his first public attempt, I think the Nicky Henderson yard will be thrilled with what they saw.
He eventually powered away from the field to take the race by four lengths, with Rocky’s Treasure back in second, a horse who has already won three starts over fences. It is highly likely that there is even more to come from Santini, with this being both his first start of the season and his first run over the bigger obstacles. If that is the case, there is no doubt that this horse is a hugely exciting prospect, and deserves the quotes he has been given which make him favourite for the RSA Chase at the festival next year.
We saw a number of nice performances on Saturday afternoon, but the one from Santini lit up Newbury racecourse and the prospect of even more to come from him certainly makes him an interesting horse to follow for the rest of the season.