Horses To Follow » Dare To Doubt

Dare To Doubt

Dare To Doubt was impressive in the way she won a decent Grade 2 two-mile hurdle at Naas on Sunday. The daughter of King’s Theatre was originally Willie Mullins’s second string in the race, after Day Of A Lifetime, but when he was withdrawn Paul Townend switched to ride the mare. She led all the way, just like she had done when she landed her maiden hurdle in impressive style at Limerick, and these new tactics appear to explain at least in part her marked improvement. She set a decent pace here, tracked closely by Davy Russell on Four Commanders, with the rest of the field tightly grouped in behind. They were queuing up to take her on entering the straight, but Townend never looked uneasy. He just let her out a little rein before the second last and she scampered clear of her rivals in a matter of strides. Her jumping was good overall, and it was also impressive that, when she made a mistake at the last, she was able pick up again really well and get away again to win by five lengths.

This was good stuff from Dare To Doubt who has always been a highly regarded horse. She clocked a good time, the fastest comparative time of the day, and the fact that Noel Meade’s talented hurdler Prima Vista, who was sent off as favourite for the MCR Hurdle off a mark of 125, stayed on to finish second gives the form a solid look.

Dare To Doubt was a really good bumper horse last season, she was a wide-margin winner of two bumpers in Ireland before going on to run well finishing second to Big Time Billy in the mare’s bumper at Aintree. She had underachieved over hurdles earlier in the year but the change of tactics to let her make the running could have worked the oracle. This was just her fourth start over hurdles so she still has significant scope for progression and she could be a better horse on better ground as well. In-form mares are often worth following in the spring part of the season, and there should be lots of opportunities for her in valuable mare’s races at the big festivals coming up.

20th February 2011