Horses To Follow » Finger Onthe Pulse

Finger Onthe Pulse

Barry Geraghty jumped Finger Onthe Pulse off out the back in the Leopardstown Chase on Sunday, apparently with the intention of settling him in behind horses, but he ran a little freely through the early throes off a slow early pace, so slow that they were all in a heap passing the stands first time, with no more than five lengths covering nine of the 10 runners. Finger Onthe Pulse had moved from near last on the outside when they set off to second, just behind Carrigeen Kalmia, by the time they started down the back straight, and that wasn’t ideal.

It always looked like Schindlers Hunt was going better than Finger Onthe Pulse from the second last, and Tom Taaffe’s horse had no more left to give on the run-in, but he is better than this, and this run, his first for two and a half months, should have knocked the edge off him. A mark of 144 almost certainly still under-estimates his ability, and there could be a decent handicap in him, perhaps back at Cheltenham, where he put up the best performance of his career in the Jewson Chase last year.

It is unlikely that he didn’t stay the trip here, as he stayed on well up the hill at Cheltenham in last season’s Jewson to repel the late lunge of Barbers Shop. It may be that he expended too much energy in running freely through the early part of the race, or it may be that he needs the fast pace that the Cheltenham Festival invariably generates. Ignoring Tuesday’s mis-hap at Thurles and looking ahead to March, the fact that he is proven in Cheltenham Festival conditions is a huge factor in his favour, and he could be a Festival Plate or a Grand Annual horse this year.

11th January, 2009