Horses To Follow » Holywell


Holywell put up a game effort in finishing second to Trustan Times in the Fixed Brush handicap hurdle at Haydock on Saturday. He travelled nicely for a long way, he was up in the van throughout, and he kept on well once challenged and passed. In fact, he was the only one who raced handily to be involved in the finish.

The step up to three miles for the first time, together with the cheekpieces being reapplied, resulted in a career best. Richie McLernon immediately had him right behind the leader up the inside, he jumped fluently, despite having the free-going Barafundle for company over the first few hurdles. He was even closer heading into the back straight second time around, poking right up the inside of American Spin. McLernon just had to niggle along coming out of the back straight and the horse responded well, jumping up, together with Trustan Times, to rejoin the leader Mr Moonshine over the third from home. He and the eventual winner had taken a narrow lead over the second last and they forged on between the last two, with the classy Trustan Times coming home slightly stronger. However, Holywell stuck to his task valiantly and made the winner dig deep all the way to the line.

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained gelding is only five, and although he was receiving 12lb from the winner, Trustan Times is a year older and slightly more experienced, and Holywell is not quite the finished article yet. This was just his fifth run over hurdles, it was his first run over three miles, he should improve a good deal again for the experience, and you have to think there is a prize like this in him, as a 5lb rise looks far from excessive. He could well be a horse for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, though he has yet to run on anything quicker than soft.

24th November 2012