Horses To Follow » Flat Out

Flat Out

Flat Out put up a really impressive performance to win his maiden hurdle on his first attempt at Punchestown on Wednesday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Emmet Mullins, his jumping was very good for a debutant, and he had his field well strung out behind him with fully a circuit still to run. He got in a little tight to the third and fourth last flights, and he was a little low at the second last, but his momentum was never halted. He travelled much better than his only two serious rivals, Good Time Donie and Better Times, around the home turn, moved away from them easily when his rider gave him a little squeeze on the run down to the last, jumped that flight well and came right away on the run-in to post an impressive victory.

Flat Out is an exciting prospect now. He won two of his four bumpers last summer, the last two that he contested and the latest by nine lengths at Listowel in September from a field that included three other previous winners. That race hasn’t worked out too well since, but the manner in which the son of Sagamix did it was impressive, all the more so as it was run on good ground, given that his previous win had been achieved on heavy ground at Galway. Wednesday’s maiden hurdle perhaps lacked strength in-depth, but the right horses chased him home. Runner-up Better Times, a lightly-raced progressive son of Lord Americo, won both of the bumpers that he contested earlier this season, while the third horse Good Time Donie, a Supreme Leader gelding from the family of Dorans Pride, who was well backed on this, his debut under rules, won his only point-to-point last May and is obviously highly regarded. Both of these are almost certain to win races, and Flat Out beat the pair of them well, with the trio finishing clear of the remainder. Furthermore, the time was really good, seven and a half seconds faster than the time that it took Won In The Dark to win the conditions event run over the same course and distance earlier in the day. Willie Mullins said afterwards that Flat Out had booked his ticket for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him out-perform his current odds of 50/1 in the Festival curtain-raiser.

17th February 2010

© The Irish Field, 20th February 2010