Horses To Follow » Simarian


I’m not sure that Simarian got due credit for winning the juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday. He wasn’t that fashionable going into the race, and it did look like he was going to be a little outpaced as they raced down the hill on the far side, but Donal Fahy didn’t need to get serious with him then, it was enough that he just nudged him into the bridle, and he picked up impressively off the home turn, coming clear on the run-in.

Simarian was bred by the Aga Khan to win a Derby, by Kalanisi out of a half-sister to Sinndar, but the best he could manage was fourth in a median autcion maiden in two runs for John Oxx before he joined Evan Williams’s yard. He has been on the go now since last April, but he appears to be continually improving, and his performance on Saturday was another step up on his win at Cheltenham’s October meeting under a double penalty. Although he has won on good ground, the softish ground on Saturday seemed to work in his favour as it meant that he didn’t get outpaced going down the hill and he was able to use his stamina to get up the far side of it. The last three winners of Saturday’s race were Franchoek, Katchit and Fair Along, who went on to finish second, first and second in their respective Triumph Hurdles, and best odds of 25/1 about Simarian winning the Triumph in March look big.

© The Irish Field, 19th November, 2008