Horses To Follow » Numide


Numide’s fourth-place finish in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday did not do justice to the quality of his effort. Held up out the back for the first mile and a half by Jamie Moore, he made nice progress down the side on a day when it was proving difficult to come from behind, and arrived there between the final two flights going almost as easily as the ultimate winner Sentry Duty. He got the last all wrong, however. Moore actually did well to stay in the saddle. That mistake cost him momentum as well as ground, and he was passed by two other horses up the run-in.

Numide remains a classy animal. A Group 2 winner on the flat in France and fifth in the French Derby, he has still only run six times over hurdles, and he remains highly progressive. The rating of 132 off which he competed on Saturday is 8lb higher than the mark off which he won the Greatwood Hurdle, but it still may under-estimate his ability. One of the big two-mile handicap hurdles could have his name on it. The fast pace and the big fields of these races seem to suit him well. He seems to enjoy passing horses and he loves soft ground. Trainer Gary Moore is not one to bring horses over to Ireland too regularly, which is a shame, as the Pierse Hurdle on soft ground would be an ideal race for Numide. Failing that, if the Totesport Trophy is run on soft ground this season, which it often is, Numide would have to be on the shortlist for that.

© The Irish Field, 27th December, 2008