Aidan Coleman: Houblon Des Obeaux can hold his own in the best company
Last Updated: 02/12/14 11:20am
Aidan Coleman is hoping Houblon Des Obeaux can show he is capable of holding his own in the best company following his classy effort to finish second under top weight in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.
The seven-year-old, trained by Venetia Williams, went close to emulating Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman, who carried the steadier of 11st 12lb to victory in 2007 and 2009.
Because of his rating, Houblon Des Obeaux is unlikely to contest handicaps in the foreseeable future, so he will have to take on the best and possibly have another crack at the Gold Cup in which he was ninth last season.
"It was a fantastic run under top weight. It was his first run of the year so it was a great training performance by Venetia," Coleman told At The Races.
"I thought we nearly had it, but he went down on his sword anyway.
"We thought he'd run well, but with that weight it was difficult. He's not an over-big horse and there looked to be plenty of unexposed ones in it., and it was one that went on to beat him. It was a really good run.
"There are very few options. He's going to have to carry top weight in every handicap and in graded races he's going to have to make that step up, which we're hoping he can do."
Coleman, who has ridden Houblon Des Obeaux in 23 of his 35 career starts, is adamant the horse does not need heavy ground to show his best form.
"He's not a mudlark by any means. He's too small to jump fences out of heavy ground regardless of what people think. I've rode him more than 20 times and he's not a heavy-ground horse," said the jockey.
"Because he does lack a little bit of pace, he is better on slightly slower ground."