Horses To Follow » Diamond Harry

Diamond Harry

Diamond Harry was seriously impressive in winning the Fixed Brush handicap hurdle run over an extended three miles at Haydock on Saturday. Kept towards the outside by Timmy Murphy, he raced more freely than ideal, so freely, in fact, on his seasonal debut, that it was probable that he wasn’t going to get home in the ground over the distance. Not a bit of it. He loomed large on the outside of Kayf Aramis and McMurrough on the approach to the third last, the first in the home straight. Once over that, Murphy just let the handbrake off and Diamond Harry picked up really impressively. Three lengths clear jumping the second last, he still coasted in front on the run down to the last as Burton Port responded to Ruby Walsh’s urgings and began to run on in behind. Diamond Harry only had a length in hand jumping the last, and Burton Port did close, but he was flat out to do so, Murphy was motionless on Diamond Harry, and he just pushed him out a little inside the last 100 yards to go away and win by two and a half lengths.

This was a serious performance in the ground, off a mark of 149, under a welter burden of 11st 12lb on his first start since he suffered defeat for the first time in two bumpers and five runs over hurdles when he finished third behind Mikael D’Haguenet and Karabak in the Ballymore Properties Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Burton Port is a really useful performer, probably very well handicapped over hurdles, especially over these fixed brush hurdles, mini fences for all the world, considering he is rated 11lb higher over fences, and Diamond Harry toyed with him, with the pair of them pulling clear in a good time. He is only six, he is obviously still progressing, Nick Williams’s horses generally improve for their seasonal debuts, and the sky really is the limit. The World Hurdle is an option, and the fact that he has been shortened significantly for that contest even since last Saturday suggests that it is a very real option. That division lacks strength in-depth this year, Big Buck’s excepted. Even so, you have to think that Diamond Harry’s real game is jumping fences. If he does go down the chase route, he has to be on your very shortlist for the RSA Chase, and best odds of 16/1 about him for that race would be very big if you knew that it was his intended target.

21st November 2009

© The Irish Field, 28th November 2009