Horses To Follow » Rigour Back Bob

Rigour Back Bob

As the much-wanted duel between Big Buck’s and Grand Crus briefly threatened to turn into a real tussle up the hill, Rigour Back Bob was making eye-catching headway towards the principles. He got badly hampered at the top of the hill losing many lengths as Bertie’s Dream moved across in front of him, and he had to be snatched up as he got caught on heels, yet he was still beaten only a length by Mourad for third in the end.

He was keen enough through the early part of the race, but they went very steady for a championship event, as evidenced by the desperately slow time, the slowest comparative time of the day by some way, and by the fact that the early leader Cross Kennon was able to keep on for fourth. The steady pace certainly would not have helped Rigour Back Bob as he attempted to claw back the ground he lost at the top of the hill, as he tried to make his ground back up into a quickening pace. His performance in making up the ground that he did up the hill can therefore be marked up considerably.

The Edward O’Grady-trained gelding was a decent novice hurdler last season, winning three on the bounce in deep ground in the winter before coming back to land a Grade 3 contest at the Punchestown Festival upped to three miles for the first time. He impressed when winning the Grade 2 Tara Hurdle at Navan on his third start this term having taken a couple of runs to come to himself. Next time out he again proved his stamina for three miles when finishing third behind Mourad in another Grade 2 over Christmas on testing ground at Leopardstown before running credibly dropped back to two miles five behind the very good mare Voler La Vedette, again on heavy ground. He seemed to appreciate this better ground and he would be of interest if he were to go to Aintree, or if he took his chance in the World Series Hurdle at Punchestown. Looking further ahead, he could make a very interesting staying novice chaser for next season.

17th March 2011