Horses To Follow » Lyvius


Lyvius ran well for a long way in the good two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Haydock on Saturday. He was the lesser-fancied of the two Nicky Henderson horses in the race – Barry Geraghty chose to ride Dawalan instead – but he travelled nicely through his race. He went nicely up the home straight, he went between the final two flights as if he had a chance of winning the race, but he was involved in a little bit of trouble on the far side at the final flight, he was knocked sideways, and he just faded from there up the run-in.

He would not have beaten the winner On Tour even with a clear run, but he would probably have got closer than he did. More significant, perhaps, than the trouble that he encountered at the final flight, however, is the fact that he had run around towards the inside of the track, middle to inside, on what was probably the worst of the ground on the track on the day. He can be marked up at least a little on the bare form of this.

He has had plenty of racing over hurdles, but he is only six, he still has scope for progression. He will be interesting now back over fences. He has only run over fences once, he finished fourth in a decent novices’ handicap chase at Ascot last November, when his jumping was not that fluent. Since then, however, he has improved by 11lb on official ratings over hurdles, but he is still rated 127 – 12lb lower than his hurdles mark – over fences. Also, he is still a novice over fences, and he is rated 12lb lower over fences than over hurdles. He would be interesting if he went back over fences now, but his hurdles rating of 139 could also under-estimate him based on Saturday’s evidence.

22nd November 2014