Horses To Follow » Cass Bligh

Cass Bligh

Cass Bligh Ran out a very easy winner of a decent maiden hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday. A little keen for Davy Russell in the early stages, Adrian Murray’s gelding travelled well throughout, jumped really well, took closer order around the bottom bend, kicked on at the second last and came clear to win impressively. He was six lengths clear at the last, and Russell eased down on the run-in, but he still beat the really useful Better Times by six lengths, and looked value for much more than that, with the rest of the field well stretched out behind. Better Times had finished second to Supreme Novices’ hopefully Flat Out on his previous start, and was well fancied here, so the form looks rock solid.

Cass Bligh now looks like a really exciting individual. Beaten in both of his bumpers last season, but putting in an encouraging run on his second start at Clonmel in March, the son of Witness Box again shaped with a degree of promise on his debut this term when he finished second to the Noel Meade-trained Monastrell at Down Royal despite stumbling on the home turn, and he won his bumper at Thurles in November. He raced over hurdles just once before Saturday, running a cracker to finish third behind Dr Whizz and Puyol in a good maiden hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival. While Dr Whizz was disappointing on his subsequent start, it is easy to conclude that it wasn’t his true running, and the runner-up Puyol went on to win the MCR Hurdle (former Pierse Hurdle) on his subsequent start off a mark of 126. Saturday’s performance was a step forward on that. His fluent jumping and easy way of travelling will be an asset wherever he goes next, and he could prove to be very good indeed. He is only six, he has raced just twice over hurdles, and he should be able to improve again. He would not be out of place in a novices’ graded race at Aintree or at Punchestown next.

6th March 2010