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Medermit Not Convincing Back to Winning Ways

Some smart hurdlers take easily to jumping fences, whilst others just never appear at ease over the larger obstacles. Alan King's Medermit seems to fall into the latter category and despite making it two from three as a novice chaser with a win at Plumpton on Monday, I can't see him making Cheltenham Festival standard, writes Elliot Slater.



Runner-up to high class Go Native in the 2009 Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Medermit performed consistently well in the top grade over hurdles, including when beating the then reigning champion hurdler Punjabi in a Grade 2 event at Haydock earlier this year. Seventh to Binocular in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, Medermit then had his sights set on a career as a novice chaser, and coming into the discipline as a 164-rated hurdler, there were good reasons for believing he could make a very big impression.

Although he won his first novice chase at Aintree in October, the six-year-old didn't jump very well in the three-runner affair and was still not fully in command when his closest market rival tipped up at the third last. Next time out however Medermit gave notice that he is not totally in love with chasing when, sent off at odds of 1/5 in a four-runner race, he led until suddenly slamming on the breaks and refused at the sixth!

It was essential for the gelded grey to put that faux pas behind him and he did manage to win at Plumpton but was not particularly convincing, even with the tremendous Robert Thornton back in the plate after injury. The plain truth is that Medermit is not a natural chaser, and over stiffer fences at a strong pace in the Grade 1 Arkle Chase, he will surely fail to come up to scratch.


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