Horses To Follow » Via Galilei

Via Galilei

Off a mark of 108, Via Galilei was probably well-treated on the best of his flat form, but there was still a lot to like about the way he won a decent two-mile-and-one-furlong handicap hurdle at Newbury on Thursday. The strong pace that developed early on probably helped him a lot, as he settled well at the rear of the field for his rider Josh Moore and he travelled well throughout. He made good progress up to the leaders at the fourth last, the last flight down the back, and he was well-placed to challenge as they came into the straight. He was the only horse still on the bridle on the way to the second last, which he jumped alongside Super Kenny and it looked to be between this pair from here. Via Galilei did really well to get the better of Nicky Henderson’s horse, even after a mistake at the last he picked up again to go away. The staying-on Monetary Fund actually got up for second, with Super Kenny third and this front three clear of the fourth-placed horse.

This looked like a decent contest beforehand, with a clutch of progressive and talented sorts lining up, and they went a good pace. The strong pace helped Via Galilei, as he tends to pull hard in his races, it just allowed him to settle and travel. The son of Galileo was a useful sort for Jim Bolger on the flat in Ireland, he held a turf rating of 91 and an all-weather rating of 105, so in hindsight, a mark of 108 may well have been lenient. He was still underrated though, allowed to go off at 16/1, and he may well continue to be under-rated by the handicapper and by bookmakers. A hike of 8lb still leaves him on a mark of just 116, just 11lb higher than his flat all-weather mark.

He hangs to his right so he may be even better going that way around, he should be good in good races with a good pace, and he should be better when he learns to jump better and gets more experience. This was actually only his fifth start over hurdles, he has a progressive-looking profile now and he will be interesting wherever he goes next.

25th November 2010