Horses To Follow » Dunraven Storm

Dunraven Storm

Dunraven Storm impressed in winning a two-mile novices’ hurdle at Ascot on Saturday. Taking the running up after the first flight, Richard Johnson controlled things from the front in the early stages. When he upped the tempo three out, he had the rest of the field in trouble and despite a mistake at the second last, he picked up really well in the straight and again after the last to put distance between himself and his nearest pursuer, Recession Proof.

Recession Proof is a useful recruit off the flat, rated in the high 80s in that sphere, and he had won his on his first run over hurdles easily three weeks previously at Carlisle. The fact that the front two pulled clear of two horses already rated in the mid 130s gives further credence to the form, although third-placed Fiulin is starting to prove very disappointing and fourth-placed Organisateur may have been a little below form having run just four days previously. Nevertheless, there is no reason to suspect Recession Proof didn’t run right up to his best, and Dunraven Storm saw him off pretty readily, probably with a fair bit more in hand than the bare winning margin.

Given his dam is related to the Grand National winner Red Marauder and is a half-sister to three winning staying hurdlers (she herself was unraced), there is every chance that Dunraven Storm will prove best at three miles in time. For now though, he is patently a useful novice hurdle prospect for the season ahead with the Neptune Investment Management Hurdle a viable target. Quotes of around 20/1 for that race are certainly not too short at this stage. His only defeat in five career runs was in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper last season, but he did not give his proper running there on just his second start. He could run next in the Grade 2 novices’ hurdle on the Friday on Cheltenham’s November meeting, and he would be of big interest in that if he took his chance.

30th October 2010