Horses To Follow » Finian’s Rainbow

Finian’s Rainbow

Finian’s Rainbow laid down his Arkle claim in some fashion in winning on his chasing debut at Newbury last Thursday. He clocked what was comparatively the fastest time of the day by some margin in a field of just three. Bounced straight out in front by Barry Geraghty, the son of Tiraaz jumped really quickly over the first three fences. He got in too tight to the first and to the last down the back straight but he was nimble in correcting himself over the fences. Having been given a breather down the back he picked up stylishly in the straight when asked and soon had his two rivals, the useful pair Hell’s Bay and Sang Bleu, in trouble. Sang Bleu was brushed aside before the third last and Hell’s Bay attempted to strike a blow but could never get to grips with Finian’s Rainbow. The Henderson horse put in a big bold leap at the last and came home to win by 12 lengths.

This was a top performance. Hell’s Bay was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles and already has some good chasing form to his name, having chased home Time For Rupert at Cheltenham on his previous run in a high class novices’ chase. He is a powerful traveller but could not live with Finian’s Rainbow early on here and, although he stayed on well, he could never get on terms. Finian’s Rainbow was a top class novice hurdler last season, winning three of his five (all three at two and a half miles or less) with his two defeats coming when just edged out in the Challow Hurdle here over Christmas on desperate ground and when just caught out for experience from the bottom of the hill in the Neptune at the Festival. He reached a rating of 145 after just three hurdle starts and is very highly regarded by both Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty. Reported to have strengthened up over the summer, he is hugely progressive and jumped so well here that he has to be high on your Arkle shortlist. He is a really exciting prospect.

26th November 2010