Horses To Follow » Lochan Lacha

Lochan Lacha

Lochan Lacha ran an eye-catching race that went largely unheralded in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. Hunted around out the back in the early stages, and kept wide, he jumped and travelled well, and made nice ground up the back straight. He flew the third last and travelled really well down to the second last, Tom Doyle happy to just sit. He and the eventual winner Oscar Time were the only horses whose riders were still motionless at that point. Unfortunately, he unseated his rider at the second last. It was a strange unseat, he seemed to get into the bottom of the fence and land in amongst horses, with the result that he appeared to lose his hind legs and all but came down, and it was a harsh one on his rider. It is impossible to know how he would have fared had he jumped that fence safely, the winner was travelling at least as well at that point, but Lochan Lacha is a horse who finds lots for pressure, he is a real stayer, he had done everything easily up to that point, and he rose at the second last upsides ultimate runner-up Siegemaster, probably travelling better than that rival.

Of course, Tony Martin’s gelding remains on his Paddy Power mark of 122, which looks even more attractive now than it did in the lead up to the race. Oscar Time has gone up 14lb, Siegemaster has gone up 6lb, third-placed Leanne has gone up 4lb, even fourth-placed Paddy Pub has been raised 3lb. The winner won with plenty in hand, so Lochan Lacha may not have beaten him, but you have to think that he would have at least bustled up Siegemaster for the runner-up spot, and he may well have got close to the winner. Consequently, Tony Martin’s horse could be really well handicapped now on his current mark. His next target could be the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday, a race in which he will obviously meet Siegemaster on 6lb better terms if both horses run, and yet the Dessie Hughes-trained horse is a shorter price in most lists. The Thyestes is always a thorough test of stamina, and that will suit Lochan Lacha ideally. He was only just beaten in a 20-runner handicap hurdle on heavy ground on his only previous run at Gowran, and the 9/1 that you can currently get about him for the Thyestes looks fair.

27th December 2009

© The Irish Field, 16th January 2010