Horses To Follow » Mall Dini
It was disappointing on the face of it that Mall Dini could only finish third in the three-mile beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse last Saturday, but there was still plenty of encouragement to be gleaned from his performance. The Pat Kelly-trained gelding jumped well, he travelled well for most of the race and, while he couldn’t quicken from the second last fence, he did keep on well on ground that should have been far softer than ideal for him, and he was just beaten by Blazer to the runner-up spot behind A Genie In Abottle.
The first two home are talented – A Genie In Abottle split Martello Tower and Acapella Bourgeois in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on his previous run, while Blazer is a 142-rated hurdler who was making his debut over fences – and the first three pulled miles clear of their rivals. As importantly, Mall Dini should do even better when he gets back onto better ground than the soft to heavy conditions that prevailed on Saturday, and possibly when he gets his tongue-tie back on. Philip Reynolds’ horse wore his tongue-tie for the first time at Cheltenham last March, when he raced on good ground and won the Pertemps Final under an inspired Davy Russell. You have to think that Cheltenham is his target again this season, possibly the three-mile handicap chase. Rated 140 over hurdles, he would have needed a chase mark of 131 or higher to get into that race last March, so that should be within range.
17th December 2016