Horses To Follow » Minsk


Minsk had won his last two starts well over a mile and a half at The Curragh prior to running in Sunday’s Irish Cesarewitch, and he had an obvious chance on Sunday provided he stayed the two-mile trip on the soft ground. There were no worries in that regard as it turned out, he stayed the trip well and was really impressive in coming right away from his field.

Sam James had him in the middle of the main group of runners as Fosters Cross and Mutiska went off fast and had a big advantage over the rest. He crept closer on the run towards the home straight and was still going strongly just behind the leaders as they turned in. Switched to the outside a furlong and a half out, he cruised up to the leader, Bremen, and barely had to be pushed out to go on and record a five-and-a-half-length success. He came here in cracking form, and he took another big step forward. He was well backed too so had obviously been impressing at home.

Minsk had been bought by Barry Connell before this run and is now set to join Dessie Hughes to embark upon a hurdling career, and he will be a very interesting recruit if he jumps hurdles well. His dam is from a good staying family and he demolished the opposition here off a mark of 93, so he is a potentially really exciting hurdler; he could well develop into a genuine Triumph Hurdle contender. He is versatile with regards the ground, the first of his wins had come on good to firm ground and the last two on yielding to soft, and he travelled strongly here, so he should have the pace for two miles over hurdles. The Triumph Hurdle is usually more of a test of stamina for juveniles anyway than it is a test of speed.

9th October 2011