Horses To Follow » Aughnacurraveel


Aughnacurraveel continued his progress when he landed the two-and-a-half-mille novices’ hurdle at Fairyhouse on Wednesday. Settled towards the rear and on the inside in the early stages, the Garry Ducey-trained gelding moved up to just track the leaders before the home turn. He travelled best of the leading quartet on the run to the second last, but Mikey O’Connor was keen to hold onto him until he had jumped that flight. When he asked him to go on between the final two obstacles, the response was impressive, he quickly put three lengths between himself and his rivals before they reached the final flight. He jumped out to his left there and landed a little flat-footed, opening the door a little for Sizing Mexico, who jumped it well on the far side, but Aughnacurraveel picked up well again on the run-in to draw clear, beating Sizing Mexico by four lengths, with a similar distance back to Flight Lieutenant in third.

Winner of two point-to-points and placed in three bumpers, this was Aughnacurraveel’s second win in as many runs over hurdles. On his debut over obstacles at Tramore in early October, he travelled well, picked up nicely on the run to the second last and stayed on well on the run-in to catch and pass Traffic Article, and that horse came out and won his maiden hurdle at Downpatrick a week later. Also, the third horse that day, Model County Lass, came out and won her own maiden hurdle at Cork last Sunday. Despite the fact that the warm favourite Flight Lieutenant probably under-performed on Wednesday, Aughnacurraveel probably put up a career-best performance in winning the race, runner-up Sizing Mexico is useful and Aughnacurraveel beat him well. The ground at Tramore when he won his maiden was fairly good, but it was decidedly soft at Fairyhouse on Wednesday – they changed the official ground description to heavy after this race, and they abandoned the meeting after the next – which is encouraging in terms of a winter campaign. As he comes from a small yard, Aughnacurraveel may continue to be under-rated, but he could prove to be a really useful recruit. He is only six, he is progressive, and it could pay to keep him on side for a little while yet.

3rd November 2010

© The Irish Field, 6th November 2010