Horses To Follow » Give It Time


The other horse to take out of Sunday’s race was the Jessica Harrington-trained Give It Time. She travelled as well as the winner into the home straight, and actually led them down to the third last, but just seemed to fail to last home up the hill in the conditions. She eventually just held off the fast-finishing Kazal for third spot.

Even so, this was a mammoth effort from Johnny Harrington’s mare. She is still only five years old, and this was her first time racing over hurdles against the boys in listed or graded company. She was in season when she disappointed in the Grade 3 mares’ novices’ hurdle at Fairyhouse last March, and she would have gone very close to winning the mares’ race at the Punchestown Festival in April had she not clipped heels and unshipped her rider before the home turn.

The daughter of Kayf Tara looked very good on her debut over hurdles this season, however – after a pipe-opener in a qualified riders’ race at Tralee – when she spreadeagled a decent field of mares to land a listed contest over two and a quarter miles at Punchestown last month. It may be that two and a half miles on heavy ground in the top grade against geldings just stretches her, but she was competing against some of the best two-and-a-half-mile hurdlers in the country on Sunday, and she still travelled as well as any of them to the second last. She is an exciting mare and she is hugely progressive.

It is difficult not to think of the David Nicholson mares’ hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for her in March. She should get two and a half miles on better ground against her own sex and, although all of her wins have been recorded on soft or heavy ground, it was just on the soft side of good when she travelled so well in the mares’ race at Punchestown in April.

© The Irish Field, 12th November, 2008