Horses To Follow » Jessies Dream

Jessies Dream

Mentioned here after he won his beginners’ chase at Galway in October, Jessies Dream is worthy of another mention after he won the Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse on Wednesday, simply because the quality of his performance seems to have been generally under-rated. General consensus is that Mikael D’Haguenet would have won with something in hand had he not crumpled on landing over the final fence. However, the Gordon Elliott-trained horse is a real galloper who finds plenty, he will stay further than this two-and-a-half-mile trip, and he was race-fit, whereas Mikael D’Haguenet hadn’t run in almost 600 days. It is true that Willie Mullins’s horse seemed to be travelling the stronger, but we just don’t know for sure how it would have played out. Mikael D’Haguenet is obviously a hugely exciting chaser, but it looks like he will go into many more notebooks than Jessies Dream will, as is often the case with unlucky-looking losers, and it ma mean that, from a future betting perspective, the winner may be under-rated.

Even if you take the view that Jessies Dream was a fortunate winner, this was still a hugely likeable performance. Settled towards the rear of the field and on the inside by Timmy Murphy, his jumping was really good, most notably down the back straight. He got caught a bit in a pocket behind Bob Lingo as Mikael D’Haguenet closed in around the home turn, and Murphy had to wait until they had straightened up before he could ask his horse to pick up, but once he did, the response was impressive. Jessies Dream and Mikael D’Haguenet pulled away from high class novices Realt Dubh and Head Of The Posse between the last two fences, and they fairly trapped down to the last, where the Willie Mullins horse fell. He was desperately unlucky to do so, he actually jumped the fence well, but just seemed to knuckle over on landing, fairly inexplicably. It was a shame that he did, it was a shame to see such a good horse end up on the deck, and it was an unsatisfactorily inconclusive end to the race. However, it doesn’t mean that Jessies Dream’s performance in winning the race is in any way diminished.

Significantly, the time of the race was almost seven seconds faster than the time that Tranquil Sea clocked in landing the John Durkan Chase over the same course and distance a half an hour earlier. Paul Townend did slow them up a little at the end of the back straight in the John Durkan, and they were all in a bit of a heap turning for home, but Jessies Dream was carrying the same weight as Tranquil Sea, he is only a novice, and Timmy Murphy wasn’t hard on him on the run-in once it was obvious that he had the race in the bag. There is every reason to believe that there is much more to come from Jessies Dream. He is just seven rising eight, and this was just his fourth run over fences. Also, he should be even better now stepped up in trip to three miles, and his trainer thinks that he will be better on better ground. He would be of big interest if he took his chance in the Feltham Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day, he may be a little under-rated by British punters and bookmakers, and best odds of 16/1 about him for the RSA Chase are interesting.

15th December 2010

© The Irish Field, 18th December 2010