Horses To Follow » Glencove Marina

Glencove Marina

Glencove Marina was very impressive in the An Uaimh Chase at Navan last Saturday. Ruby Walsh held the gelding off the pace from the early stage and managed to settle him into a nice rhythm behind a decent pace that was set by Watson Lake. The pace quickened significantly when Rare Bob took on Watson Lake after the fourth last, and those two opened up a gap on the field, but Glencove Marina made smooth headway alongside Made In Taipan, and the pair looked to have it between them as Rare Bob weakened going to the second last. Glencove Marina jumped the last well and pulled away nicely to win by eight lengths, eased down, from Made In Taipan, with Rare Bob a further 25 lengths back in third.

It was pleasing to see Glencove Marina get back to winning ways. The Willie Mullins-trained gelding has endured a frustrating time of it after promising so much as a novice over hurdles and fences. Mullins always held Glencove Marina in high regard and hopefully he can now go on to deliver on the potential he has showed. He never really looked happy at Clonmel in his previous run, falling when out of contention, but he settled much better here and travelled supremely well through the race. He jumped well and easily drew clear on the run in without Ruby Walsh having to get serious.

This was a good Grade 3 chase, Made in Taipan, second to Big Zeb earlier on in the season over the same course, can be very good on his day, and Glencove Marina beat him easily, with a big break back to Rare Bob, a Grade 1 novice chaser last season. Glencove Marina himself was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles as a novice and looked like he was going to be a major player at the 2008 festival when running out an impressive 10-length winner of the Dr PJ Moriarty Chase at Leopardstown in what was probably supposed to be his last run before Cheltenham. Unfortunately that was his last run for the best part of two years, but there is every chance that he will make up for lost time now.

He has done most of his winning on easy ground, but the Grade 1 hurdle that he won as a novice at Punchestown was on good ground. He has yet to run over three miles but gives the impression he will stay. Mullins suggested the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown as his likely target, and he will be of big interest if he goes there next.

27th March 2010