Horses To Follow » Dan Breen

Dan Breen

Dan Breen was impressive in the way he went about the business of winning a novice chase at Bangor last Wednesday over two miles one and a half furlongs. In front from the drop of the flag, he jumped very quickly and accurately, increased the tempo down the back and just strolled away from his toiling rivals between the last two fences. He had a severe loss of concentration at the last though and ploughed through it, losing his back legs on landing and was very lucky not to come down. That though was his only mistake, and he can easily be forgiven it as he was out on his own on just his second start over fences (the ninth of his life).

Notwithstanding the fact that one or two of his rivals may have slightly underperformed, this was a mightily impressive victory from the Pond House inmate – he beat a Grade 1 winning novice hurdler in Hollo Ladies by 11 lengths having given away many at the last. He has obviously progressed since he was beaten by Darby’s Turn on his chasing bow at Warwick. He is clearly very well regarded at Pond House as he was thrown into the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last season on the back of just one run over hurdles six weeks previously. While he understandably found the Festival contest a little too hot, leading until the third last before fading, he acquitted himself better when sent for the equivalent race at the Aintree Festival, the Top Novices Hurdle, where he finished fifth. He was probably still feeling the effect of those two tough races when running down the field in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in May. His chasing debut had been satisfactory but far from spectacular, and he jumped and travelled with much more zest here. His RPR of 144, with the distinct promise of more to come, leaves him close to Arkle class. It would be good to see him prove himself on an undulating course before March if he were to take his chance in the premier two-mile novice event, but he may not be that far off the top novices now, and he may be under-rated because he was winning at Bangor and not at Cheltenham or Newbury.

15th December 2010