Horses To Follow » In Compliance

In Compliance

It was great to see In Compliance back in the Listed Thurles Chase at Thurles on Thursday, and he simply exuded class in running out a really impressive winner. He travelled well throughout, his jumping was fast and fluent, and he picked up really nicely when Paddy Flood went for him. Flood actually had to take a tug passing the winning post first time, and he jumped the next two fences on the side of the course so well that he found himself in front and had to take a tug again. A half a length behind the leader Florida Express on the run to the third last, his jump there took him out of the fence a length and a half ahead. From there it was just a case of whether or not his 679-day absence would take its toll. Still on the bridle on the approach to the second last as his only pursuer Chelsea Harbour came under strong pressure, he jumped that obstacle well, moved easily down to the last, jumped that well as well, and careered away up the run-in, ears pricked, to post a most impressive victory.

Dessie Hughes could hardly have wished for more from In Compliance’s debut for him. The son of Old Vic was a high class performer for the now-retired Michael O’Brien, putting up his best performance in the 2006 John Durkan Chase when he beat War Of Attrition. He has obviously had his problems, he missed the Cheltenham Gold Cup that March and he was disappointing in the Punchestown Gold Cup that April, and he only ran once in the 2007/08 season, but he showed on Thursday that he still potentially retains a high level of ability. He is nine years old now rising 10, but he has still only run 14 times in his life, and he has only contested eight chases. Kauto Star is also nine, but he has raced 31 times. In Compliance is really lightly raced and, as long as he remains sound during the season, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him develop into a live Cheltenham contender, although he may be more a Ryanair Chase horse than a Gold Cup horse. In the shorter term, he could go very close to winning the Durkan Chase again. It looks like the ideal next step for him.

5th November 2009

© The Irish Field, 14th November 2009