Horses To Follow » Roi Du Mee

Roi Du Mee

Roi Du Mee put up a nice performance to win the two-mile-six-furlong novices’ chase at Punchestown on Wednesday. Settled in second place behind habitual front-runner Bob Lingo, some 10 or 12 lengths behind the leader, the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding’s jumping was sure-footed, and he and Healy’s Bar closed up on Bob Lingo at the fourth last. It looked like Healy’s Bar might be the one to pose the biggest threat to the leader at that point, but Roi Du Mee jumped on at the third last, despite making a mistake at the fence, and he very quickly moved five lengths clear by the time they started the turn for home. Over 12 lengths clear at the second last, the Gigginstown House gelding jumped the last two fences well and was eased down by Davy Russell to record an easy victory.

Even though this was just a five-horse race, the form is solid. Bob Lingo, a 137-rated chaser, had run well for a long way in the Drinmore Chase and had won his beginners’ chase subsequently by 20 lengths, while Healy’s Bar is a talented individual on his day, and there is every reason to believe that both horses ran their races. Furthermore, Bob Lingo’s presence in the race ensured that it was run at a decent pace, and the time was the fastest comparative time on the day by some way.

Roi Du Mee has never been out of the first three now in four completed runs over fences since he fell on his Irish chase debut at Thurles in October. Beaten 10 lengths by The Hurl back at Thurles in November, with the pair of them clear (form that has worked out well subsequently), he stepped up on that performance when he stepped up in trip to two miles and six furlongs to win his beginners’ chase at Limerick over Christmas. This was another step forward on that, and he continues to progress. He is only six and this was just his sixth run over fences, so he has significant scope for further progression. His trainer mentioned the Nas Na Riogh Chase as a possible next target, a Grade 2 two-and-a-half-mile contest, which is interesting, he deserves to step up in grade. He handles soft ground well and he should get three miles easily. He may even improve again for stepping up in trip, and he is one to keep on side.

9th February 2011

© The Irish Field 12th February 2011