Despite having six chase runs already under his belt, Impulsive Star is still classed as a novice chaser. He will look to take advantage of that, and the experience he has, when he runs in the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival in March. That race is confined to amateur riders only, but that is a benefit to this horse, who is always ridden by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen.
The plan for after that run is to enter him in the Grand National, assuming he runs well at Cheltenham, of course. He may lack the necessary experience for the Grand National, so it is a big risk. But Impulsive Star is not your average horse. You don’t see many novice chasers aged nine years old! However, it may be a case of now or never for the horse, and he would more than likely only have a couple chances to run in the National while still at his best.
His win at Warwick last weekend came off a handicap mark of 133, and he won really nicely that day so he is sure to end up somewhere around 140. He also showed his staying credentials and battled through to come away with an impressive win.
That race was over 3m5f, and the signs are all there that this horse may even need a stronger test. Which brings him nicely to the 4m contest at Cheltenham. And, of course, potentially the 4m1f Grand National after that.
He also showed plenty of determination and fighting spirit last Saturday. You can’t underestimate the value of that. Some horses are not capable of putting their head down and battling, whereas Impulsive Star looks as though he loves it.
As for now, all roads lead to Cheltenham, and that will be the main focus until March. But don’t be surprised to see this horse come out again in April and run in the National at Aintree. It isn’t ideal that the horse would go into the race with just seven chase starts under his belt, plus he has never run there, but to a certain extent, the Neil Mulholland yard have no choice but to go for it with him.
He is now a nine-year-old, and although lightly raced he may only have a couple of chances to show what he can do at Aintree. When a race as big as the Grand National is in your sights, you usually cannot afford to let the opportunity pass over, and that appears to be the case here with Impulsive Star!
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