Horses To Follow » Darby’s Turn

Darby’s Turn

Darby’s Turn put in an accurate round of jumping and showed a willing attitude in winning a two-mile novices’ chase at Warwick last Wednesday. It was his eighth start over fences, his first in Britain having joined the Richard Phillips yard over the summer from Henry De Bromhead in Ireland, and he impressed in picking up the odds-on favourite coming to the last, having been on the outside of him for the entire round, and pulling two and a half lengths clear.

This was just his second ever win (from 19 starts), his first since a Cork maiden hurdle in January 2009, where he beat the useful Sports Line, but he impressed here. The odds-on favourite, the 139-rated Dan Breen, who ran in top novices’ hurdles at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals with a degree of credit last term, seemingly had no excuse for this run. The favourite didn’t look as though he was badly in need of the run, and he had won first time over hurdles following a five-month break last season, so that shouldn’t have been too much of an excuse. Darby’s Turn brushed him aside quite readily after the last, winning on merit.

New trainer Richard Phillips said after this race that his gelding deserves his chance at the bigger tracks where the fences are tougher, as his main asset is his jumping. This sounds like a sound plan as jumping counts for a good deal in novices’ chases at this stage of the season, especially over two miles, and the horse did put in a really solid round here. All his best form in Ireland was on soft ground, but he proved here that he can handle better conditions as well. If he is able to put his fencing to good use next time and maybe dominate a smallish field, he will be tough to beat, even on one of the bigger tracks and even stepped up in grade.

3rd November 2010