Horses To Follow » Head Of The Posse

Head Of The Posse

Head Of The Posse ran a nice race on his return to the track to finish second to Won In The Dark in the two-and-a-quarter-mile hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday. Settled out the back by David Casey in the early stages, last of the seven runners, he travelled and jumped well and made nice progress on the bridle at the end of the back straight. He was a little slow over the second last as the pace was increasing, and Casey had to squeeze him a little to make up the ground, but he picked up nicely, moved into third place before the last and stayed on well to pass Beau Michael to take second. It never looked like he was going to catch the winner, but his rider wasn’t hard on him once it was obvious that he wasn’t going to win, and he was easily the second best horse in the race on the day.

This was JP McManus’s gelding’s first run in 320 days. The last time we saw him was in the Grade 2 two-and-a-half-mile hurdle at Fairyhouse last April that Oscar Dan Dan won, when the ground was probably too fast for him, and it is significant that he had been off the track since then. Before that he had been a most progressive novice hurdler, winning two of his five starts, finishing second in two others (beaten a short head by Clan Tara in one when he tried to make all, and beaten neck in the other) and falling at the last when it would have been mighty close between himself and China Rock in the other. There were trickles of money for him for Sunday’s race in the morning, so he was obviously working encouragingly for John Kiely. He has only raced seven times over hurdles now, and there is probably much more to come. He does appear to need easy ground to be at his best, and he should be better again when he steps back up to two and a half miles. David Casey knows him well and gets on well with him, and he could be one for the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree if the ground were to come up on the easy side.

28th February 2010

© The Irish Field, 6th March 2010