Horses To Follow » Lastoftheleaders


Lastoftheleaders had run encouragingly on his seasonal debut at Naas in November in a handicap hurdle, and he put in a commanding performance back over fences at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Sent off the 7/2 favourite for this two-mile-one-furlong handicap chase, Paul Townend moved him towards the outside after jumping the first couple of fences, having initially been between horses and short of room at the first couple of fences, and brushing through the second. Uncle Tom Cobley took up the running from the fifth fence and set a good clip, and that probably suited Lastoftheleaders, who generally travels well through his races. The field grouped up on the run to the third last but the good pace continued, and four of them moved on around the home turn. Townend came widest of all up the home straight on Lastoftheleaders, and he was cantering between the final two fences as all the others were hard at work, and a good jump at the last sealed the win.

This really was an impressive victory from Arthur Moore’s gelding, he was vastly superior to his rivals, and the horses who fought it out for the runner-up spot, 11 lengths behind the eased-down winner, Peak Raider and Saludos, are highly talented performers. Also, he was pricking his ears and looking around him going to the final fence, he probably had plenty more left to give, and he clocked a good time, the fastest comparative time of the whole weekend at Fairyhouse, although comparisons between the two days are not completely reliable, and the only other race run over fences on Saturday was Sir Des Champs’s beginners’ chase, in which he was unextended.

The Supreme Leader gelding has always been held in high regard, but has largely been an under-achiever up until now. Arthur Moore had a quiet enough season last year, perhaps all his horses were out of form, so perhaps that is the reason why Lastoftheleaders didn’t fulfill his potential last term. He could be a different proposition this term, and even his hurdles run on his previous start, where he was a close fourth to three progressive handicappers, was really encouraging. Two miles on soft ground suits him well, and, a 13lb hike is severe enough, it is deserved, and a mark of 140 could still under-rate him.

3rd December 2011