Horses To Follow » Ad Idem

Ad Idem

Quito De La Roque battled on dourly to land the three-mile novices’ handicap hurdle final at Fairyhouse on Sunday, and he is undoubtedly a staying chaser of some potential to look forward to for the future for Michael O’Leary and Colm Murphy, he is sure to shorten the winter, as he devoured this heavy ground, but there was a lot to like as well about the performance that Ad Idem put up in finishing second. Always travelling well, the Pauline Gavin-trained gelding made nice headway on the outside down the back straight under Alan Crowe, travelled best of all over the third last and looked by far the most likely winner as he hunted up Hidden Crack and the well backed The Burrow Vic around the home turn. He moved easily down to the second last, and jumped that well, his rider still motionless as everything else came under pressure. However, he didn’t find as much as it looked like he would when his rider went for him between the last two flights, and he had no answer to Quito De La Roque’s stamina. To his credit, he did stick on up the run-in to retain second place ahead of The Burrow Vic, and the front three finished clear of their rivals. It never looked like he would get back at the winner, but he galloped willingly all the way to the line.

Ad Idem is only six years old. Winner of his only point-to-point and placed in both of his bumpers, he has improved for stepping up in distance over hurdles, and it is no coincidence that this was the best performance of his career, over the longest distance that he has tried. A son of Kayf Tara out of a half-sister to good staying chaser General Pongo, who herself won a point-to-point, it is hardly surprising that he is all stamina, although he probably wasn’t as at-ease with the really testing conditions that prevailed on Sunday as the winner was. He does handle soft ground, but he is also effective on better ground. His pedigree suggests that he should be, and he finished second in a 23-runner bumper at Fairyhouse last April on his racecourse debut on the only occasion on which he has encountered good ground. He was having just his fourth run over hurdles on Sunday, he is most progressive, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

4th April 2010

© The Irish Field, 10th April