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Alexander Severus

I suppose it was a little naïve to think that I was among a minority who had spotted Alexander Severus’s run in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last Sunday. Held up out the back in the early stages, he made smooth progress behind the leaders around the home turn. Although no better than 11th or 12th at the top of the home straight, he was still only about three lengths off the leader as the field bunched. The gaps didn’t appear to open, however. He went for a run before the final flight and was cut off by Turtle Time Lucky as that one moved out to chart the same path. Still only eighth jumping the last, Alexander Severus finally found a gap with no more than 100 yards to run, and he burst through to dead heat for third place, just a head and a short head behind the winner.

A winner of a maiden over 10 furlongs when trained by Andre Fabre, this was just the Montjeu gelding’s third run over hurdles for Edward O’Grady. After an encouraging debut, he beat Manor Park in a maiden at Leopardstown over Christmas, and that horse ran well behind Jumbo Rio in the hottest juvenile hurdle staged in Ireland this season earlier on Sunday. O’Grady said after that win that Alexander Severus was not a Triumph Hurdle horse, but he could easily be a Fred Winter horse. The Irish handicapper raised him 3lb to a mark of 114 for Sunday’s effort, which is more than fair. He would have been really interesting for the Fred Winter off that mark, or even close to it, but the UK handicapper appears to have given him a mark of 134 – 20lb higher than his Irish mark. That may persuade O’Grady to run him in the Triumph Hurdle instead, and you could do worse than take a little bit of the 25/1 that Bet365 are currently offering with a run.

© 15th February, 2009