Horses To Follow » Araucaria


Araucaria was very unlucky in the mares’ bumper at Aintree on Friday. Held up in rear as usual, she settled well early on and travelled nicely for Davy Russell. As the race developed and they began to turn for home, John Kiely’s mare was hampered badly by the struggling Businessmoney Judi who was falling back through the field after holding a prominent position. This was a vital moment in the race and it took Araucaria a while to recover her position. She eventually got going again and stayed on up the straight to finish fourth, beaten around eight lengths, but closing on the leaders all the way tot the line.

This was one of those hard luck stories for John Kiely’s mare, she was just moving into contention when she was knocked off her stride from a fading horse. In her previous races, she showed that she was well capable of producing a turn of foot coming from off the pace, but she lost all rhythm here when about to produce her challenge. Winner of two of her previous four starts and runner-up in the other two, she was a close second to For Bill at Navan, and that horse has gone on to win another bumper and a Grade 3 hurdle at Fairyhouse, while her other placed effort was behind Shot From The Hip, the horse who was sent off favourite for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, in a good bumper at Leopardstown at the end of February. She remains a horse of real potential, her trainer described her as exceptional and she will be a force over hurdles next year. The way she finishes her races suggests she would easily deal with a step up in trip and she appears to be able to handle all types of ground.

9th April 2010