Horses To Follow » Won In The Dark


Won In The Dark, who ran an eye-catching race on the flat in the November Handicap at Leopardstown on Sunday, is not as potentially well handicapped as the winner Solwhit over hurdles (he is now rated 21lb inferior on the flat, but he is 8lb higher than Solwhit over hurdles) but the Sabrina Harty-trained gelding should be able to make his mark in conditions events this term. He was well back in the early stages, of Sunday’s race, but made nice progress around the home turn and up the home straight under just a hands and heels ride from Rory Cleary to take fifth place.

The Montjeu gelding appeared to be continually under-rated last season, but he was a dual Grade 1 winner and wasn’t beaten all that far by Celestial Halo into third place in the Triumph Hurdle. His performance on his final start of the season to land the Grade 1 juveniles’ race at Punchestown in April was particularly noteworthy, and probably gained him the recognition that he deserved.

We know how difficult it is for five-year-olds to make the transition to the top grade in their second season over hurdles, but Katchit and Punjabi showed last year that it could be done, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Won In The Dark prove to be competitive in top company this season.

© The Irish Field, 3rd November, 2008