Horses To Follow » Casey Jones

Casey Jones

Casey Jones put up a nice performance to land a Grade 3 three-mile chase at Punchestown on Thursday on his seasonal debut. What made it impressive was the fact that he jumped to his left almost all the way, which is no good at right-handed Punchestown, yet he still had enough in reserve to stay on over the last two fences to beat One Cool Cookie and Kilcrea Castle (who also ran a nice race and will appreciate softer ground later in the season). Trainer Noel Meade spoke about the Hennessy and the Grand National for Casey Jones afterwards and, a real stayer with a touch of class, a Grade 1 winner, he would be an interesting contender for both of those races. If Denman runs in the Hennessy, Casey Jones’s UK rating of 149 would see him get into the race on a nice racing weight. As a second season chaser, a potential improver, he is the right type for the Newbury feature, and if Denman does take his chance, it will be the classier novices from last year like Casey Jones who will be his main challengers, as the more unexposed ones will just be too far out of the handicap. Also, Newbury is left-handed, which will suit. He jumps well and, as long as the ground doesn’t come up too soft at Newbury, he would be a leading player. Meade’s Harbour Pilot would probably have won the race in 2002 had he not tried to take the last fence home with him, so there is a little bit of unfinished business there.

15th October 2009