Horses To Follow » Glenquest


Glenquest put up a really nice performance to win the three-mile handicap chase at Navan on Sunday. Held up just behind the leaders by Slippers Madden, he jumped well and travelled well throughout. He travelled like the most likely winner of the race into the home straight, moved up nicely to take it up from long-time leader Benefit Night (who ran a cracker back at the scene of his third placing in the 2007 Troytown Chase) between the last two fences, and stayed on really well up the hill. No better than average over hurdles, with just one win in a Listowel maiden hurdle to his name from 16 starts in point-to-points, bumpers and over hurdles, he seems to have improved dramatically now in his last two starts over fences. He left his first two starts over fences well behind in his third run over the larger obstacles, his first in handicap company, when he finished second to the talented Footy Facts when he was very well backed and sent off favourite for a two-and-a-half-mile contest at Clonmel in November. He was unlucky to catch an in-form rival that day, and he might have been even closer but for jumping left at the last, but it was still a noteworthy performance.

Sunday’s performance was a step forward from that again, and it proved that the Terence O’Brien-trained gelding stayed three miles well in this heavy ground at a stiff track. He raced from 3lb out of the handicap on Sunday, and the handicapper has given him a hike of 8lb for the performance, so he will be 5lb higher than the mark of 109 from which he effectively raced on Sunday, but a mark of 114 could still under-estimate his ability. Furthermore, his new mark gives him a good chance of getting into the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas on a nice racing weight. If top weight Gungadu stands his ground, his long handicap weight would be 9st 7lb, which would leave him just 3lb out of the handicap, which would be fine. He is only six and he has raced just five times over fences now, so he should be improving, and the Paddy Power usually goes to a young progressive individual who stays well, who handles soft ground, and who is towards the lower end of the handicap. Glenquest ticks all of those boxes, and best odds of 20/1 about him for that contest – which is apparently his next target – are fair.

13th December 2009

© The Irish Field, 19th December 2009