Horses To Follow » Hidden Cyclone

Hidden Cyclone

Hidden Cyclone ran out a most impressive winner of a two-mile Grade 3 novice hurdle at Navan on Sunday. He was always travelling nicely for Andrew McNamara, who held the gelding up just behind the leaders in the early stages. Still on the bridle on the turn for home, Hidden Cyclone he ended up in front just before the third-last, which was plenty early enough on Navan’s long straight, but Shark Hanlon’s horse still travelled really well to the second last and he looked all over the winner from here. He did land a bit flat-footed over that flight, when not helped by the attention of a loose horse running alongside him, but he still picked up really well after jumping the last to win by an easy seven lengths.

This Grade 3 contest is usually a good race, it has been won by the likes of Clopf, Wild Passion and Accordion Etoile in past few seasons, and on the evidence shown here, Hidden Cyclone has the potential to be right up to that standard. He won like a really good horse, having travelled really well throughout, and he probably would have won by more than seven lengths had the loose horse not bothered him all the way up the straight. The race did lose some of its lustre when the Noel Meade-trained Prima Vista came down early on, but the horses that finished in behind the winner are still fairly useful and Hidden Cyclone beat them easily. He won his bumper on good ground and his maiden hurdle on yielding ground, and he proved here that he can handle soft ground as well. The form of that maiden hurdle win at Tipperary – his previous run to this – has also worked out well, with the third horse Original Option running well in a Grade 3 novice hurdle at Cork last week.

This was only the son of Stowaway’s third ever run, just his second over hurdles, and he was still a bit sticky over some of his obstacles. He should get better with experience and it is unlikely we have seen the best of him yet. The winner of this race usually ends up in the Grade 1 Barry and Sandra Kelly Memorial Novice Hurdle at Navan again on their next start out and that would make sense, especially given that his trainer feels he will be better over a bit further as well. He should take his place among our very best novice hurdlers this term.

7th November 2010