Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blinkers to Help See Nation State Home

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blinkers to Help See Nation State Home

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

Before Christmas, I thought it was a case of Nation State going down to the start at Fontwell and returning home with first prize under his belt, but this game is never as simple as that.

Gary Moore's six-year-old took off too early at the seventh obstacle and gave Jamie Moore no chance of staying in the saddle.

Having said that, favourite backers may have already waved goodbye to their cash as Nation State was half a dozen lengths off the pace at the time and didn't appear to be travelling as well as one would have liked.

Not short in ability, though, he still has his quirks and has not always delivered when expected. However, his previous effort in a valuable sponsored hurdle at Sandown saw him in a different light when taking third spot behind Overstrand.

To be fair to him, he was given a lot to do that day after being held up in a steady pace and you could argue that he would have gone close in a more strongly-run affair.

Nation State reappears in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton today and, though 3lb out of the handicap proper, should be a major player if he produces his best form.

The longer trip shouldn't be a problem and, with blinkers replacing cheekpieces for the first time, it's to be hoped the headgear does the trick.

Whispered Promises split Overstrand and the selection at Sandown but it's unikely that he will confirm that form even though he has since run well again in defeat at Haydock when narrowly outpointed by United. It will be interesting to see how top class chaser Racing Demon fares over the smaller obstacles. If he can translate his chasing form to this sphere you couldn't discount his chances.

Rayshan, who dead-heated with Buck Whaley in last year's event staged at Carlisle, will be making his seasonal debut. He has plenty of stamina so the step up in distance will suit while the ground is not an issue either. …

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