Horses To Follow » Hangover


Hangover, carrying the second Gigginstown House colours, ran a big race to go down by just over a length to Whinstone Boy in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday. This was an unusual Thyestes in that not many seemed to be able to get into the race. Whinstone Boy and eventual third Siegemaster, carrying the Gigginstown House maroon cap with the white star, dominated the race from the front. They didn’t appear to go a great gallop, they didn’t need to, everything else seemed to be happy to sit in behind, presumably mindful of the ever-worsening ground, with the net result that it was difficult for anything to make ground from behind into a quickening pace. Hangover travelled well through the early stages of the race in third place, leading the main group behind the two breakaway leaders, but he got left behind a little when the front pair quickened at the top of the track and around the home turn. He stayed on really well up the home straight over the final three fences, however, and looked a real danger on the run-in but, while he got past Siegemaster, he just couldn’t reel in the winner. Nevertheless, this was a good performance from the Conor O’Dwyer-trained gelding, the horse who actually provided the trainer with his first winner after he hung up his riding boots. The son of Presenting was a useful hurdler, all three of his wins, as well as his bumper win and his sole win over fences, somewhat unusually for a son of Presenting, being gained on soft or heavy ground. This was his first attempt at three miles, and he stayed the trip really well, apparently improving for the step up. Indeed, he probably would have been better suited by a faster pace, a sterner test of stamina, and he would have got closer to the winner if they had had another furlong or two to travel. This was just his fifth ever chase, he is progressive anyway, he should be improving as he gains in experience, and the fact that he stays three miles on heavy ground, and is probably better over the longer trip, opens up some nice options for Gigginstown House and Conor O’Dwyer. The handicapper has given him 7lb for this, but his new mark of 130 may still under-estimate his ability over three miles, and he should be worth noting wherever he goes next, ideally in a long distance handicap chase. He could be one for the Irish National at Fairyhouse on 5th April. Novices can go well in the Irish National, Hangover goes well right-handed – all five of his wins have been gained on right-handed tracks – and the ground should still be soft enough for him in early April.

21st January 2010