Horses To Follow » Kangaroo Court

Kangaroo Court

Kangaroo Court had built up quite a reputation by the end of 2008. Winner of his only point-to-point in Ireland, he won his maiden hurdle at the first time of asking at Doncaster on good ground in December, clearly appreciating the ground and beating the useful Honest John, winner of last year’s Aintree bumper, by 17 lengths. After that, he started favourite to beat Karabak and a host of exciting-looking novices at Ascot in January, but the ground came up just on the soft side that day, and he finished well behind Karbak – no real disgrace in that really – but still managed to beat all his other rivals.

Disappointing in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, trainer Emma Lavelle’s intention on Saturday was apparently just to give him a nice confidence-booster before roughing him off for the summer and bringing him back next term. However, he was so impressive in winning on Saturday that the trainer appears to be having a re-think. In fairness, he was fully entitled to win this, a Class 4 National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, and it would have been disappointing if he had not, but he did so with a minimum of fuss, travelling and jumping well, easing to the front on the near side at the second last, pinging the last and coming home effectively on his own.

Good ground is obviously imperative for the son of Lahib. His trainer always said that that was the case, and he proved it here, putting up a really impressive performance and winning as he liked. He is in again at Taunton on Thursday, but you would have thought that, with the ground still in his favour, he would be fully entitled to his place in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle run over two and a half miles at Aintree on Grand National day. He is not in that race, but he should be worth following wherever he goes next, as long as the ground is good, and he is an exciting prospect for next season.

28th March, 2009