Horses To Follow » Voler La Vedette

Voler La Vedette

Voler La Vedette looked good when getting back to winning ways in taking a two-mile-five-furlong Grade 2 hurdle at Navan on Sunday in good style. Always travelling well for Andrew Lynch just in behind the leaders at a steady pace, it was clear from as early as the third last that nothing was going as well as Colm Murphy’s mare, who wasn’t asked any sort of question by Lynch until after jumping the last. She picked up well when her rider asked her to go and win her race, to win in the style of a horse who was in a different league to her rivals.

Voler La Vedette was probably entitled to win here at these weights but it was the way she won over the distance of two miles and five furlongs, the furthest she has ever gone, that was most impressive. Navan is a stiff track and the ground was fairly bottomless on Sunday, but the daughter of King’s Theatre stayed the trip really well. Andrew Lynch said after the race that this sort of trip was probably her best. Trainer Colm Murphy was still unsure after the race about whether or not she would take her chance in the mares’ hurdle at the Festival this year, and she would appear to have little chance of beating Quevega on the evidence of last year’s race, but it is worth noting that she suffered a setback in her preparation going into the festival last season, and that at the age of seven she is an older and more experienced mare now. She settled well here, in contrast to the mares’ race at Cheltenham a year ago, when she raced far too freely.

She is a really consistent horse who rarely runs a bad race, and her overall form is not far off top class. She was billed as a possible Champion Hurdle candidate last season when she gave Go Native a 13-length beating in a Grade 3 contest at Down Royal on her seasonal debut, and she was a close third to Hurricane Fly and Solwhit in the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse two runs ago this season. It may be that she will improve for stepping up again in trip, and she will be interesting when she is tried over three miles for the first time, perhaps in the World Series Hurdle at Punchestown.

13th February 2011