Horses To Follow » Little Hercules

Little Hercules

Little Hercules impressed in the way he picked up in the home straight to beat Master Beau in a two mile novice hurdle at Musselburgh last Friday having looked green when first asked to improve at the top of the straight.

He sweated up beforehand, was weak in the market and then proceeded to pull hard early on, settled just behind the leaders. The very headstrong Toledo Gold soon pulled his way to the front and into a clear advantage which allowed Little Hercules to settle better. His jumping was adequate without being particularly proficient, but he made progress coming out of the back straight before he again showed signs of greenness after the third last when he ran about a bit and didn’t immediately pick up when asked to.

He picked up the bridle again though when niggled and switched to the inside, came upsides the leader Toledo Gold at the last, and ran on for a pretty comfortable win from the odds-on favourite Master Beau, never looking in any real danger from the back of the last to the line. Actually, Brian Hughes had trouble pulling Little Hercules up after the line such was his enthusiasm once he’d got the hang of things late on. He still probably had plenty left to give and should be worth following again, especially is stepped up in trip. Master Beau was very well backed on the day, from morning prices of 9/4 and 5/2 into 4/5, and Little Hercules beat him well.

The son of King’s Theatre is a well-bred sort, his dam hails from the family of that good stayer Keen Leader and was placed in a three-mile hurdle herself. His half-brother was a good winner of his only point-to-point while his older full brother, though lowly rated, is a winner over two miles. Howard Johnson’s gelding had clearly been showing up fairly well at home prior to his debut as there was support from him when he appeared in a Catterick bumper, and he duly delivered first time of asking, staying on well to beat two horses with promising form in the book already. He failed to concede a penalty next time back at Catterick to a very fluent Irish raider where he showed signs of greenness as he did here at Musselburgh. He shows quite a pronounced knee action suggesting a preference for soft ground and it would be no surprise to see him carry on improving while the ground is still soft.

11th February 2011