Horses To Follow » An Cathaoir Mor

An Cathaoir Mor

An Cathaoir Mor battled on well to get the better of Maca Rince and Pistol Flash in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Naas on Sunday. Under a patient ride from David Casey, the six-year-old gelding made stedy headway around the home turn, quickened impressively to challenge between the last two, took it up off Pistol Flash over the last and just about did enough to hold that one’s renewed effort as well as that of the rallying Maca Rince.

An Cathaoir Mor does not appear to be a straightforward ride, and Casey has struck up a decent partnership with him, having ridden him now in his last five races. He leaned in on Pistol Flash on the rail both on the run to the last and on the run-in, and he had to survive a stewards’ enquiry, but there is little doubt that he was the best horse in the race. He gives the impression that he only just does enough, which is a huge asset for a handicap hurdler as it is probable that he is not declaring his full hand to the handicapper.

His penultimate run, third behind Cousin Vinny and Realt Dubh, was full of promise, and he built on that by getting home by a head from Farringdon on his previous run, for which he was raised 6lb. It will be interesting to see what the handicapper does with him for this performance, but he can’t be too harsh, given the distance that covered the first three home, and there should be another handicap in An Cathaoir Mor at least. As a son of Turtle Island, it is probable that he needs to be able to get his toe in to be seen at his best. He has now won twice and finished third once in three visits to Naas, so it may be that he is also at his best at the Co Kildare track.

22nd February, 2009