Horses To Follow » Trafford Lad


Whatever your opinion about the stewards’ decision to disqualify Rare Bob and award the Buck House Novice Chase to Trafford Lad at Punchestown last Thursday, it was the promoted winner who was the one to take out of the race for me. Dusty Sheehy’s gelding was one of out top novice hurdlers last season, but he was never tried at any distance short of two and a half miles.

The six-year-old is a battler who has always looked like a staying chaser in the making (he is out of a half-sister to top stayers Shuil Ar Aghaidh and Rawhide), so two and a quarter miles was always going to be on the sharp side for him on his chasing bow. Nevertheless, there was a lot to like about the way that he jumped and galloped, and he battled all the way to the line. Long term, he is a Sun Alliance Chase prospect, his run to finish third in a hot Ballymore Properties Hurdle last March proving that he can cope with the demands of the Cheltenham Festival. In the shorter term, the Paddy Fitzpatrick Chase at Leopardstown in January is a logical mid-season target.

© The Irish Field, 20th October, 2008