Horses To Follow » Shuil Aris

Shuil Aris

Shuil Aris put in a big performance to finish second in the mares’ two-and-a-half-mile chase at Fairyhouse on Wednesday. Held up out the back by Ruby Walsh, her jumping was good in the main, but she got outpaced as they picked up the pace on the approach to the fifth last. A mistake at that obstacle exacerbated the situation, and suddenly she was under pressure to put herself in a position to be competitive in the race. She was slow enough again, although she didn’t make a mistake, at the fourth last, the last before the home turn, and she was about eight lengths behind the leaders when they straightened up. However, she stayed on really well under pressure up the home straight over the last three fences. Switched to the far side, she took third place going to the final fence, jumped that fence well, and looked like she might just catch Cara Mara on the run-in, but the leader had just taken it up over the second last, and she was running on well for Robbie Moran as well, Shuil Aris going down by about three parts of a length in the end.

Paul Nolan’s mare is eight years old, but she is really lightly-raced, having run just seven times in her life before this. She won her bumper on her racecourse debut at Punchestown in April 2006, and was unlucky not to win over hurdles the following season, finishing second to Dessie Hughes’s highly talented mare Grangeclare Lark in good Grade 3 mares’ contests at both Fairyhouse and Punchestown the following April (in the former, she has Chomba Womba and Lounaos immediately behind her in third and fourth places respectively). She was off the track for two years after that, before she returned in a maiden hurdle at Clonmel five weeks ago, when she was weak in the market and performed no better than adequately. This was much more like it. It was her first chase, so you can easily forgive her pensiveness at some of her fences, and she should be able to go on from this now. It is a little bit of a worry that she hasn’t won now in seven attempts since her racecourse debut, and that she has had ample opportunities, but she there is no question that she is a talented mare, and she is worth another chance. Her half-sister Hard To Get Ten recorded her sole success in a three-mile chase, and Shuil Aris shaped here as if she would benefit from a step up in trip. She will be interesting if she goes over three miles next time.

2nd December 2009