Horses To Follow » Heaney


Heaney put up a nice performance to win a useful three-mile handicap hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday. The Flemensfirth gelding travelled strongly in the rear for the first circuit, he was last but one as they set off down the back straight on the final circuit, he moved much closer courtesy of a couple of quick jumps down the back straight, but Paul Townend was anxious for him not to get too close too soon, he took a pull at the top of the hill at the end of the back straight. The horse made smooth progress down the hill, so much so that he had moved right onto the heels of the leaders as they jumped the third last flight, he continued to improve four horses wide around the home turn and he picked up nicely between the final two flights to jump the last hurdle in front. Bat Masterson was coming back at him on the run-in, but Heaney was pricking his ears in front and just idling, he probably had plenty left to give.

Runner-up Bat Masterson is good, he was a good winner at Navan a week previously, and he was well backed here, and the form has a solid look to it. Heaney was quite well beaten at Galway on his penultimate run before this, but that was on desperate ground, and he did well to win at Bellewstown on his previous run to this, when he was almost brought down at the sixth flight.

Tom Taaffe’s gelding is hugely progressive now, he travelled through this race like a much better horse than this grade, and his jumping was electric. He is only five, he should continue to progress, and he stays this three-mile trip well.

6th October 2012