Horses To Follow » Made In Taipan

Made In Taipan

Made In Taipan got his season back on track with a more than satisfactory display to land the Grade 2 Flyingbolt Chase at Navan on Monday. Davy Russell kicked him out of the gate and set off to make all, which he duly did, quickening the tempo over the third last and staying on well up the hill. His task was made significantly easier when main market rival Majestic Concorde fell early on, and it is impossible to know how that one would have fared had he stood up (although you have to think that the ground would have been too soft anyway for Dermot Weld’s charge), but you can only ever beat what is put in front of you, and Made In Taipan did so with ease.

A best-price 33/1 before this race for the Arkle, I was surprised that the bookmakers only cut him to a best-priced 25/1. He is a lot shorter than that in my book now that he has re-gained the winning thread, and put two disappointing efforts behind him. A high class novice hurdler last season, Tom Mullins’s gelding looked really good on his first two starts over fences, giving the not untalented Jaamid a hiding at Naas, and then following up by beating Follow The Plan (subsequent conqueror of Tatenen) at Navan. On each occasion he travelled really well the whole way and jumped quickly and accurately. Both of those wins, and his win on Monday, were achieved on soft ground, but he has proven before that he can go on better ground, and the first day of the Festival, Arkle day, is usually the day that produces the softest ground of the week anyway. He has a high cruising speed, he jumps well, he likes to be up there and he has to go left-handed – all positives in the context of the Arkle.

Furthermore, he was rated 145 over hurdles, one of the highest ratings of any of the Arkle contenders, another huge positive given how important a high rating over hurdles has been historically for Arkle contenders. To put that mark into context, Tatenen was rated 148 over hurdles, Calgary Bay was rated 142, Kalahari King was rated 140, I’msingingtheblues was rated 147, and apparently an Irish handicap rating is worth more than a UK rating these days. The best odds you will get about Tatenen or Calgary Bay is 6/1, while the best you will do about the latter pair is 10/1, yet you can back Made In Taipan at 25/1. It doesn’t make sense.

16th February, 2009