Horses To Follow » Saludos


It is impossible to know how Saludos would have fared had he stood up when in front at the last in the Grade 1 two-mile-one-furlong Bord na Mona Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Thursday. Jessica Harrington’s horse had jumped fairly well before that, and travelled well in front. There was a lot to like about the way he regained the lead from Loosen My Load before the straight and he was holding a length advantage over the eventual winner Realt Dubh at the last. The mistake he made wasn’t actually all that bad, he just seemed to clip the top of it and stumble on landing. He is a horse who finds plenty off the bridle and contrary to general opinion after the race, it may well have been very close between himself and Realt Dubh had he stayed up.

This was still a very good effort from Saludos and he looks well worth another chance after this. It was only his third start over fences, and he put in a fairly good round here in what looked like a hot contest beforehand, even allowing for his somewhat unlucky fall at the last. He won a listed novices’ hurdle in good style at Punchestown last season, and he was slightly unlucky when he just got beaten in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at last year’s Christmas festival. He has always been a good jumper, so there is every reason to believe that he can be even better over fences than he was over hurdles, and there was a lot to like about the way he got off the mark over the larger obstacles previously to this at Navan, where he beat the useful Lucky William by 10 lengths.

He is at his best on easy ground going left-handed and he looks worth another chance after this. He may come back to Leopardstown for the Irish Arkle, and that would set up a very interesting re-match with Realt Dubh. He may be value to exact his revenge.

30th December 2010