Horses To Follow » Noble Prince

Noble Prince

There was enough about the performance of Noble Prince in the Grade 1 two-mile-one-furlong Bord na Mona Novice Chase to suggest that he may be worth following. It was only his second run over fences, but he jumped well and was still bang there with a chance at the fourth last down the back, but he seemed to just get outpaced from the third last fence, just when Saludos kicked on again in front. The son of Montjeu got shuffled back, and he had to come wide around the home turn, on the outside of the entire field, but there was a lot to like about the way he picked up in the straight and although he was never able to get to Realt Dubh, he stayed on nicely to pass Torphicen for the runner-up spot.

This was a really good effort from Paul Nolan’s horse, who had been off the track since October, and given this was only his second start over fences, he looks certain to improve. Also, Paul Nolan’s horses have been going through a quiet spell, but there are recent signs that they are running back into form again, so there could be further improvement forthcoming from Noble Prince. The way he stayed on up the straight suggests that he will need a stiffer test over fences, that he may be a two-and-a-half-miler. Most of his best form over hurdles was over two and a half miles.

That said, it may also have been the testing ground that found him out, and he could be worth another chance over two miles on good ground, the conditions in which he won impressively when he made his debut over fences at Punchestown back in October. You usually need to be a two-and-a-half-mile horse to go well in the Arkle these days in any case. He has a lot in his favour as an Arkle candidate, having run well in the County Hurdle at the track last March and having basked in a rating of 148 over hurdles (nine of the last 10 Arkle winners were rated 142 or higher over hurdles). He remains a promising recruit to fences.

30th December 2010