Horses To Follow » Ballyandy


Ballyandy put up a really impressive performance to win the bumper at Newbury last Saturday.

Settled nicely just behind the early leader Gayebury through the early stages of the race, the Kayf Tara gelding travelled well for Sam Twiston-Davies around the top turn, and hit the front early in the home straight. From there, it never looked like he was going to lose. Positively Dylan moved up nicely in behind him at the two-furlong pole, but Ballyandy always looked front in front, and he galloped on all the way to the line to win by nine lengths, with Positively Dylan six lengths clear of the third horse, and the field well stretched out behind.

This looked like a very good bumper beforehand. Six of the seven runners were winners, and three of Ballyandy’s six rivals went into the race effectively unbeaten. Also, the recent history of this bumper is seriously impressive. Al Ferof won it in 2010, Shutthefrontdoor beat Village Vic in it in 2012, Definitly Red beat Tea For Two in it in 2014 and Barters Hill beat Buveur D’Air and Altios in it last year. That is as exciting an array of talent as you will find in the recent history of any bumper run this side of the spring festivals.

Ballyandy has been put in as favourite in most lists for the Cheltenham Bumper, and that is as it should be. Nigel Twiston-Davies horse won three of his four bumpers before Saturday’s race, and he was narrowly beaten in the other. Also, he won a bumper at Cheltenham’s November meeting on his only visit to the track. He has bundles of scope for progression, he stays well and, while he handled the heavy ground well at Newbury, he is also two for two on good to soft.

13th February 2016