Horses To Follow » Glenquest


I wouldn’t go losing faith in Glenquest after what looks like a disappointing run in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last Sunday. He travelled well throughout the early stages of the race, well back in the field, but he was wide, and had to foresake ground as a result, which wasn’t ideal. He made eye-catching progress up the back straight final time, but made a fairly shuddering mistake at the third last, which halted his momentum and knocked the stuffing out of him at a crucial stage in the race as the pace was increasing. His rider then seemed to panic a little and rushed him up to regain his position, but all of those exertions probably took a lot out of him and he faded after that, which was a pity, as he had been travelling as well as any of his rivals at that point, despite having raced around the outside the whole way.

It was unfortunate that Slippers Madden had been injured in a fall earlier in the day and was not able to take the ride. Slippers had ridden Glenquest to perfection to win a three-mile chase at Navan on his previous run, timing his run well to lead between the last two fences. It is possible that he made his ground too quickly here, and arrived in the front rank too soon, at the end of the back straight. That said, there will be other days for him for sure. He has only just turned seven, and this was just his sixth chase. The ground may not have been soft enough for him here, better than it usually is at Leopardstown at this time of year – he is by Turtle Island and all his best form is on soft or heavy ground – and he was racing from 2lb out of the handicap. The form of his Clonmel run was given a nice boost when the winner of that race, Footy Facts, sluiced in in a good hurdle race at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve, and there could still be a big staying handicap chase in Glenquest on soft ground. He remains on a handicap mark that probably under-estimates his ability.

27th December 2009