Horses To Follow » Lagostovegas


Lagostovegas was very good in winning the four-year-olds’ maiden hurdle that opened proceedings at Naas on Saturday.

Settled in second place by Sean Flanagan behind leader Newberry New from early, her jumping was really good, and she tanked up on the outside of the leader around the home turn as the pair of them came clear of their rivals. Best Kept Secret tried to bridge the gap, but he couldn’t. Newberry New came under pressure at the top of the home straight as Flanagan kept a tight hold of his filly. She jumped on at the second last flight and moved nicely clear, popped the final flight and eased up the run-in to record a really impressive victory.

This victory was no more than Harry Kelly’s filly deserved. Winner of a three-year-old handicap on the flat at Killarney in July off a mark of 59, she had run three times over hurdles before Saturday, finishing second behind Rashaan and Footpad, and third behind Ivanovich Gorbatov and Let’s Dance. Juvenile hurdle form does not get much stronger than that. She didn’t have anything of that calibre to challenge her here, and she was really impressive in gaining a deserved win. She did everything well through the race and she came clear to win eased down in a good time, only marginally slower comparatively than the time that Sempre Medici clocked in the Limestone Lad Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs 35 minutes later. And she could have gone faster.

This performance paid another compliment to Ivanovich Gorbatov, it further strengthens an already strong-looking juvenile maiden that he won at Christmas, in which Lagostovegas finished third, but this was an improved performance by the Footstepsinthesand filly, and she is interesting in her own right now. It will be interesting to see what handicap rating she gets now, as she could be interesting for the Fred Winter Hurdle at Cheltenham. Connections were also taking about the mares’ novices’ hurdle at the Festival, but the Fred Winter might be a better target for her as long as her handicap rating is reasonable.

16th January 2016