Horses To Follow » Tharawaat


Tharawaat ran a nice race to finish second to Thegreatjohnbrowne in the Grade 3 Florida Pearl Chase, run over two miles and six furlongs at Punchestown on Sunday. The winner was hugely impressive, and looks set to take a high rank among the top staying novice chasers this season, and the race was shorn of some of its competitiveness when Healy’s Bar blew the start, but Tharawaat performed with immense credit to chase the winner home. Held up in fourth place, last of those who started on level terms, the Gigginstown House gelding’s jumping was more than acceptable for a debutant. He picked up nicely to go between horses on the run around the home turn, then made a horrendous error at the second last from which he did well to survive, but he jumped the last well and he stayed on well up the run-in, leaving the impression that he saw this trip out well, albeit that the winner was heavily eased.

This was Tharawaat’s seasonal debut, his first run over fences and his first run in over a year, and his weakness in the market suggests that he was expected to come on for it. A high class juvenile hurdler two seasons ago, he was well down the field in the Triumph Hurdle, but he gave Jumbo Rio a big fright in the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, when he attempted to lead all the way in first-time blinkers and was still in front, admittedly with a significantly reduced advantage, when he fell at the last.

The Gordon Elliott-trained gelding ran just once last season, an encouraging run to finish third behind Jumbo Rio on a good two-mile hurdle race at Limerick in October, he has obviously had his problems since then and he wore a tongue-tie on Sunday, but this return was a most encouraging one. He handles soft ground well, and he proved on Sunday that he stayed well, he had never been beyond two and a quarter miles before. This opens up significant options for him, he could be a decent staying novice chaser this term, he is still lightly-raced, and the fact that he ran so well on the only occasion on which he has worn blinkers in the past presents another possible dimension.

14th November 2010

© The Irish Field, 20th November 2010