Horses To Follow » Jessies Dream

Jessies Dream

There are reasons for believing that this year’s renewal of the RSA Chase fell apart a little. Warm favourite Time For Rupert broke a blood vessel, while the Willie Mullins pair Mikael D’Haguenet and Quel Esprit both fell when travelling well on the final circuit. In the end, the first four home were separated by a neck, three parts of a length and a nose, and the logical conclusion to draw is that they can’t all be that good.

That might be a flawed conclusion however. There was a lot to like about the performance that Jessies Dream put up in finishing second. Gordon Elliott’s horse raced too freely when the pace steadied, and he gave away ground by going wide the whole way, yet he still looked by far the most likely winner when he took it up from Bostons Angel on the run to the second last before he idled, allowing the teak-tough Jessica Harrington-trained horse to get back at him.

Overall, the form of the race is probably a lot stronger than the credit that it has received. Despite the pace-lull through the mid-section of the race, the winning time was very good, the second fastest comparative time on a day of top class racing, second only behind the time that Sizing Europe clocked in winning the Champion Chase.

Jessies Dream may be significantly under-rated on the back of this run, and he is a horse to have on side now if he takes his chance in the either the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse next month or the Grade 1 three-mile novices’ chase at the Punchestown Festival in May.

It is possible that he is better going right-handed than going left. All four of his wins over hurdles and fences have been at right-handed tracks. Specifically, he put up the best performance of his life when he won the Drinmore Chase last December on soft ground over the Powers Gold Cup course and distance and, as a son of Presenting, he should be even better on the good ground that should prevail at Fairyhouse and Punchestown. He remains a potentially top class chaser.

16th March 2011

© The Sunday Times, 27th March 2011