Horses To Follow » Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms did really well to get into the race from the rear to finish fourth in the Kerry National at Listowel last Wednesday. The second, third and fifth were in the first four from flagfall, while the winner, Wrath Of Titans, was always towards the head of the field, he raced prominently from early, at the head of the chasing pack. Also, the ground should have been too soft for Three Kingdoms, and he was wide throughout, probably looking for better ground, but foresaking ground in the process. And he was slightly hampered when Realt Mor fell beside him at the sixth last fence.
Davy Russell had the Street Cry gelding settled into a nice rhythm from early. He came under pressure on the run around the home turn and, while it never looked like he was going to catch the leaders, and while he would have finished fifth had Lord Scoundrel not fallen at the second last fence, he kept on well enough to get past Ballycasey for fourth.
Winner of a maiden on the flat for Dermot Weld in 2012, Three Kingdoms morphed into an exciting two-mile chaser for John Ferguson in 2014/15, winning the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster in January of that season and only going down by a half a length to Vibrato Valtat in the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Chase. He disappointed at the spring festivals that season, however, and attempts to re-invent him as a two-mile handicap hurdler last season did not bear fruit. Returned to Weld this summer, he was down the field in the Galway Plate, but he didn’t run badly in a two-and-a-quarter-mile handicap chase on the last day of the Festival. Dropped 2lb by the handicapper for that, his Kerry National run was another step forward, given that the trip and the ground probably stretched him beyond his limit.
Two and a half miles is probably his optimum distance over fences now, and he will be of interest when he races next over that trip, especially on goodish ground. He is rated 138 over hurdles, but he is a better chaser, he is probably better handicapped over fences on a mark of 147 than over hurdles on a mark of 138, if that makes sense. He will be of interest in a good two-and-a-half-mile chase now in the autumn and, looking longish term, he could be a horse for one of the big two-and-a-half-mile handicap chases at the spring festivals next year.
14th September 2016