Horses To Follow » Kerb Appeal

Kerb Appeal

Kerb Appeal produced a decent effort to finish third in the competitive three-mile handicap hurdle won by Square Sphere at Punchestown on Sunday. He was always towards the back of the field, held up by Paul Townend. He had only four horses behind him when they set off down the back straight for the second time, but he travelled well, and made decent ground up to the leaders when they came out of the back straight and began turning for home. He still had a lot to do from there though, and by the time he got in the clear and got at the leaders up the straight, Square Sphere and Rivage D’Or had pulled away into an unassailable lead. Kerb Appeal wouldn’t have got to them anyway, but he did pick up and find for pressure to hold on for third place, eight lengths behind the winner.

Kerb Appeal disappointed on his previous run in a handicap hurdle at Leopardstown, but he may have just needed that run, his seasonal debut, and this was much more like it. He travelled well here in what looked like a good race, and there was a lot to like about the way he made ground to get at the leaders before the straight. This was actually only his fifth start over hurdles so there should be plenty more to come from him. He has always looked like a talented sort for Willie Mullins, who said after his good maiden hurdle win at Navan last season that he would be a better horse on better ground. He hasn’t had good ground now since his racecourse debut, and it may be that we see his real potential now on a decent surface later in the spring. He remains unexposed and he will be interesting the next time he runs on good ground. He stays three miles well, and he would be an interesting outsider if he took his chance in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.

30th January 2011