Horses To Follow » Top Of The Rock

Top Of The Rock

Top Of The Rock ran a nice race to finish second to Let Yourself Go in the Grade 3 two-mile chase at Limerick on Sunday. Held up in behind runners in the early stages by Robert Power, Jessica Harrington’s gelding made nice progress after the departure of Cornas at the end of the back straight. He travelled easily into second place behind the eventual winner out of the back straight, but came under pressure before they straightened up as Schelm came up on his outside to challenge him for second place. However, while he had no chance with the Adrian Maguire-trained winner, who quickened away nicely over the final two fences, he did stay on really well up the home straight to retain second spot and get to within five lengths of the winner.

This was a wholly admirable performance from the son of Beneficial in the circumstances. He was competing over a distance way short of his best, and he was effectively having his first run since last May. He did run in a handicap chase at Listowel in September, but he unseated his rider at the fourth fence that day, so he came into Sunday’s race a fresh horse. A decent staying novice chaser last term who contested some of the top contests in the country, he is still only six rising seven, and he should progress again this season as a staying chaser. The handicapper raised him just 1lb for Sunday’s performance, but he should come on a fair bit for it, and he should improve further for stepping back up in distance. His new mark of 130 could significantly under-estimate his ability, and he will be interesting now if contesting a decent staying handicap chase.

11th October, 2009

© The Irish Field, 17th October 2009