Horses To Follow » Big Zeb

Big Zeb

The race didn’t necessarily pan out ideally for Big Zeb, but he ran out an impressive winner of the two-mile handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday. Settled just behind Leading Run in second place in the early stages, he wanted to go faster than Barry Geraghty wanted him to when Paul Carberry dropped anchor on Leading Run in front going down towards Ballyhack. It looked like he was going to find himself an unwilling leader until Glaczer Flyer came up on his outside to take it up. That lead only lasted until the fourth last, however, when Geraghty allowed Big Zeb his head and he strode on around the home turn. A number of horses lined up out wide to challenge at that point, but Geraghty had plenty in reserve and, although Psycho got close to him between the last two flights, it never looked like he was going to catch the leader, and Big Zeb went away to win impressively.

This was Colm Murphy’s gelding’s first run over hurdles since he got beaten by Catch Me at Fairyhouse in December 2007, and it was understandable that he jumped a little big at some of his obstacles. Nevertheless he had enough ability to beat these seasoned campaigners, and it should have done his confidence no end of good after two recent non-completions, including one mother and father of a fall in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham. Worryingly, he has fallen in four of his nine starts over fences, but he is not actually that bad a jumper, he can be very good and accurate over his fences, as he was at Leopardstown over Christmas. He just seems to be a little awkward and unsure of himself when he is meeting one wrong. Murphy says that the Champion Chase at Punchestown is next on his agenda and, he has so much class that he may be worth one more chance over fences.

12th April 2009