Horses To Follow » Elysian Rock

Elysian Rock

Elysian Rock may be worth another chance next time, despite a fairly disappointing effort in the two-mile-five-furlong Grade 2 Killeney Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday. Mouse Morris’s horse led the three-runner field early on, but after the first few fences he began to jump way out to his right at each obstacle. He was still there with Magnanimity and Jessies Dream down the back, but he continued to jump right and, by the time they reached the end of the back straight, he was treading water. Barry Geraghty conceded defeat early, he never really got into Elysian Rock and he ended up just letting him come home in his own time.

It may have been that Elysian Rock was just outclassed here by the front two, but they are both very good, potentially two of the best novice staying chasers around, a fact that may not have been fully appreciated before this race, and both look like leading contenders for the RSA Chase now. But it may also be that Elysian Rock is a horse who has to go right-handed. He ran a similarly disappointing race in the Grade 1 Fort Leney Novice Chase on his run previous run, at Leopardstown also, and the only other time he went left-handed in his career he also disappointed in a hurdle race at Navan.

Prior to his two latest runs, Mouse Morris’s horse had looked promising when winning a decent beginners’ chase at Cork, and another good race at Thurles, another right-handed track, where he turned over the useful Willie Mullins-trained Apt Approach, the pair of them coming clear of Catch Me. The son of King’s Theatre is a half-brother to Venalmar and he still has the potential to progress and do well over fences, this was only his fifth start over the larger obstacles. It may also be significant that the trainer thought he was good enough to be tried in these two big races. He should be underrated now, but he will be interesting, possibly at a decent price, the next time he goes right-handed.

9th January 2011