Horses To Follow » Ad Idem

Ad Idem

To go as close as Ad Idem did in the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan on Sunday off 11st 6lb (admittedly reduced to 10st 13lb with his rider’s claim) was a huge effort. Only one horse had carried more than 10st 7lb to victory in the Troytown in the previous 10 years and that was Notre Pere, who landed the Welsh National on his next start off a 14lb higher mark, and who rounded off that campaign by winning the Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup the following April.

Ad Idem looked all over the winner on Sunday, it looked like he had been brought with a perfectly-timed run as Cross Appeal pitched badly on landing over the last and lost his chance, but Ad Idem does idle when he hits the front, and he did so here which just about gave Alan Crowe the chance to get the five-year-old Groody Hill up on the line, having been about six lengths down jumping the last. Ad Idem may actually have been better served had Cross Appeal not made that bad mistake at the last, as he would have had company up the run-in.

Pauline Gavin’s gelding is a really solid jumper, he impressed with his fencing here, and he clearly goes well in these big fields. His three win, in a point-to-point, a maiden hurdle and a beginners’ chase, have been gained in fields of 17, 18 and 18 respectively. Also, he has now been beaten a half a length or less three times in fields of 17 or more, and he has finished second seven times in fields of 13 or more and four times in fields of 23 or more. There is a chance that he was just stretched by three miles on testing ground on this stiff track, but he does go well at Navan and he does stay three miles, so it is more likely that he was just in front a little too soon. Of course the winner is only five and was completing a hat-trick, and time may tell that it was a huge effort from Ad Idem to get so close to him, but he comes out the best horse in the race – even taking the talented Brian Hayes’s claim into account, he was giving 10lb to the winner and 13lb to the third.

The Paddy Power Chase over Christmas would be a logical target for Ad Idem now. He is only seven, he has raced just seven times over fences in his life, he is still progressive, and he will have the big field at Leopardstown there that seems to suit him so well.

27th November 2011