Horses To Follow » Coolcashin


There was a lot to like about the run of Coolcashin on his seasonal debut, in a two-and-a-half-mile Grade 2 chase at Gowran Park on Saturday. The Michael Bowe-trained gelding was held up towards the rear by Davy Condon. He jumped well and travelled well enough, until just after the fourth last, the last fence down the back, where Condon just had to urge him along to keep up with the others. At this stage it looked like he may get left behind, the horses in front of him looked to be travelling much better, but he kept finding for pressure and he made ground all the way up the straight and briefly looked like a big threat to the winner China Rock after they jumped the last fence. He couldn’t get to Mouse Morris’s horse in the end, but he kept on nicely to finish a close second, with Oscar Looby back in third.

This was a good Grade 2 chase. China Rock had last been seen finishing second to Kempes in the Grade 1 champion novices’ chase at the Punchestown Festival, and he beat Sizing Europe on his subsequent outing. He was meeting Coolcashin on 7lb better terms than official ratings dictated, so it was fair performance from Michael Bowe’s horse to get so close to him. On top of that, the trip was probably inadequate for Coolcashin, given that his three wins and all his best performances over fences to date have come over at least two miles and six furlongs. He was a fairly good hurdler two seasons ago, he has a rating of 145 over the smaller obstacles, but he looks like he could top that over fences now.

The son of Taipan was a very good winner of a Grade B handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival last season but this was probably his best performance over fences, which reads particularly well for the rest of the season. It’s also worth noting that eight of his nine wins have come going right-handed. He should come on for this and he will be of significant interest wherever he is seen next, especially back over a longer trip. He will be of interest if he takes up his engagement in the JN Wine Chase at Down Royal next month, going right-handed, especially if the ground is not too testing. That should be a hot race, and he could be allowed go off at a big price.

2nd October 2010