Horses To Follow » Staying Article

Staying Article

Staying Article looked like a useful recruit when he won his bumper on his racecourse debut at Punchestown last month, and he consolidated the impression that he left there with a good performance to win his maiden hurdle at Naas on Wednesday. He was weak in the market beforehand, presumably largely because of the fears that trainer Edward O’Grady had expressed about the soft ground (his bumper win had been achieved on good ground), and because of the market strength of favourite Rivage D’Or, but he always travelled well through the race. He moved easily into the home straight and, pulled to the outside, he picked up nicely between the last two flights. Rivage D’Or picked up well also on the far side, however, and looked to have a race-winning lead on the run to the last, which he jumped well and had at least two lengths in hand of Staying Article on touching down, but the second horse picked up impressively on the near side, sticking his neck out willingly to get up inside the final 25 yards and win by a half a length, with the pair of them clear.

The fact that he has now proven that he handles easy ground opens up options for Staying Article. Rivage D’Or is proving to be frustrating – he has now finished second four times, third three times and fourth once in eight runs for Dessie Hughes, and is still a maiden – but there was still a lot to like about the willing attitude that Staying Article showed to go past on the outside, without the rail to help, on ground that he probably wasn’t relishing, and the time was good, 11 seconds faster than the handicap hurdle run a half an hour later. The bumper that he won isn’t working out too well – the second, fourth and sixth have all been well beaten since – but he did win it easily, and there is no telling how good he could be now over hurdles. From the family of Triumph Hurdle winner Shawiya, as a son of Definite Article it is probable that he will be even better than this on decent ground. He is just five and has only run twice, he has significant scope for progression, and he could be one of our better novice hurdlers come next spring.

10th November 2010

© The Irish Field, 13th November 2010