Horses To Follow » Lord Windermere

Lord Windermere

Lord Windermere marked himself down as a horse with a future after winning a listed novice hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday on just his third run. He travelled well through this two-mile contest, initially in second and then in third as Ballysteen moved up, and he jumped accurately for most of the race. His jumping wasn’t quite so good under pressure, he was a little untidy at the third last and had to be shaken up after jumping it, but he moved up three wide around the home turn for a share of the lead. He hit the front on the run to the last, at which point he started to look about him, looking noticeably green. He got in a fraction too tight to the final flight and landed a bit flat-footed, and Dylan Ross came there on his outside looking the likely winner. Lord Windermere got going again impressively when Dylan Ross challenged him though, and tenaciously held on to win by a head with the pair of them pulling clear from Ballysteen through the last 100 yards.

Jim Culloty’s horse was only just doing enough, but he had to battle to hold off Dylan Ross, and he left the impression that he had plenty left to give. Dylan Ross has proven form, and graded form at that, having finished second to his stable mate Il Fenomeno in the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan on his previous run, and he has always been held in high regard by Noel Meade. Lord Windermere was the least experienced member of this field, having had just two previous runs in his life, and the first of those had ended prematurely with an early fall, so this was effectively just his second ever run.

The Oscar gelding is an exciting horse now. He obviously goes well in this testing ground, but his trainer thinks that he might even improve for better ground. He has been slow to learn apparently, and he may have a little break now before he runs again, but he could well be good enough for some of the spring festivals if he continues to progress, as looks likely.

11th December 2011