Horses To Follow » Araucaria


Araucaria looked good in landing a two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle at Navan on Saturday, and she could be set for a bright future over hurdles now. Ruby Walsh settled John Kiely’s mare in about mid-division of the 30-runner field, just on the inside, close enough to the rail through the early stages. She jumped well, and made good headway down the backstraight to race in a more prominent position just before the straight. She looked the most likely winner from here, she travelled easily early in the home straight, and she jumped the third-last well, but she just got caught in between two runners at the next flight, resulting in her momentum getting checked and a bad jump at the hurdle. She had a lot to do from that point, Walsh had to bring her around runners on the outside to avoid any more trouble, she lost a lot of ground and she looked beaten. But the daughter of Accordion picked up really well over the last and showed a really good turn of foot to take it up inside the final 200 yards. It was the performance of a fairly smart horse.

John Kiely’s mare was fairly useful in bumpers last season, where a really fast turn of foot when coming from off the pace was her trademark. She won twice, finished in the frame in two really good bumpers and she was actually mentioned here for her previous run which was her final run of the season in the listed mares’ bumper at the Aintree festival. That day she was travelling well, from well off the pace, and she was just about to get involved before a struggling horse fading back through the field knocked her off her stride. It took her a while to get going again and she eventually stayed on to finish a creditable fourth given the circumstances.

She has since been bought by the Hales family and she could still be very good. She did this fairly well, considering the horses that finished amongst her all had run fairly recently and probably had the advantage of race fitness coming into this. She should come on for this and it is likely we will see her stepped up in class in the future.

25th September 2010