Horses To Follow » Ten Bob

Ten Bob

Ten Bob was impressive in landing a bit of a gamble in a two-mile handicap hurdle at Naas on Saturday. It was only a low grade race, the top weight was rated 116 and Ten Bob was winning off a mark of only 101, but it was his first run since March, he was backed into 4/1 favouritism for a 22-runner event, and he really impressed with the ease with which he travelled into the race and how he quickly put the race to bed after the last. He travelled like the most likely winner from a long way out, Mark Walsh kept him covered up until just before the second last when he moved back inside to find daylight. He was still on the bridle on the run to the last, he jumped it really quickly and found plenty when Walsh gave him a squeeze on the run-in, drawing two and a half lengths clear of Beir Bua with his ears pricked, despite being eased down for the last few strides, with the second pulling nearly five lengths clear of the rest.

It was likeable the way the winner and the second pulled a little way clear of their rivals off what was only a moderate pace, with the field having been well bunched at the second last with many in contention. Ten Bob is bred to stay further but he obviously has enough pace for the minimum trip, and, as a five-year-old having just the fifth race of his life, he has considerable potential. He has been raised 11lb for this win, but that is not overly punitive, he has started life in handicaps from a lowly mark and it will be disappointing if he is not up to winning off his new mark. Indeed he was so impressive here that at this stage there is no real telling how high he could go. Beir Bua has the scope to be better that his mark too, also a five-year-old, he could be quite well handicapped as well off just a 4lb higher mark given the way he pulled clear of the rest of the field. However, Colm Murphy’s horse readily brushed him aside after the last, and he could be in line for one of the big handicap hurdles now. The fact that he is proven in a big field and that he is bred to stay further than two miles will be a big asset in one of the big two-mile handicap hurdles. His new mark of 112 should see him just about get into the MCR Hurdle (the old Pierse Hurdle) with a low weight, if Colm Murphy was inclined to put him away until then.

29th October 2011