Horses To Follow » Saddlers Storm

Saddlers Storm

Saddlers Storm put in a good performance to finish as ridden third in the two-mile-five-furlong Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase at Leopardstown on Tuesday. Kicked off last of the 21 real participants, the Tony Martin-trained gelding was very patiently ridden by Philip Enright, hunted around out the back around the outside in the early stages behind relatively fast pace, before making nice progress down the back straight. He didn’t jump the fourth last that well, but he still made nice progress around the outside after the third last behind the leaders, Tiernan’s Terror and Scavenger. Only about six lengths down at the second last, a momentum-halting mistake at that obstacle left him about 12 lengths behind rounding the home turn. It was difficult to make ground from the rear on the soft ground at Leopardstown on Tuesday, so Saddlers Storm faced a massive uphill struggle from there against two leaders who stay well and who weren’t stopping. Even so, he stuck on gallantly over the final fence and up the run-in to close the gap to just four lengths at the line.

It is difficult to know, but without that mistake at the second last, Saddlers Storm may well have prevailed here. He continued to catch the leaders all the way up the run-in, despite that fact that he was racing on the worst of the ground against the far rail. He has just turned eight, but this was only his fifth run on the racecourse, his fifth chase. His rating of 89 looks lenient, and the handicapper shouldn’t be able to be too harsh on him for this performance, he handled this soft ground well, he could be even better over three miles, and he will be of interest wherever he runs next.

29th December 2009