Horses To Follow » Catch Me

Catch Me

Catch Me ran a really nice race in the Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown on Sunday. Held up towards the rear in the early stages of the race – which wasn’t the ideal place to be in a race in which they didn’t go as fast as you might have expected for an 18-runner handicap hurdle – he travelled well the whole way, and he was still going strongly as they jumped the third last, where he was hampered a little by the fall of Our Monty. Caught behind horses as a result as the pace increased, the front few got away from him a bit. He was pretty badly boxed in around the home turn again, and by the time he had got out and got going it was all too late, but he stayed on really well to just fail to pick up fourth place from the talented Pineau De Re.

Winner of the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle in November 2008 and rated as high as 164 in his prime, Edward O’Grady’s horse hasn’t won in 15 runs and over two years since he won a novices’ chase at Cork in October 2009. However, he has slipped down to a mark of 133 as a result, and this run, combined with a promising enough run on his previous outing, his debut this term, in another Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, he proved here that he probably stays three miles (although this wasn’t a truly searching test of stamina) and he will be of interest for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham now. The British handicapper will probably raise him a couple of pounds, but a mark of 133 should see him creep into the race at the foot of the weights (133 saw Chartreux get in off bottom weight in the race last year). He has useful Cheltenham Festival form – he was third in the Neptune Hurdle in 2007 and was sixth to Katchit in the Champion Hurdle the following season. He has only just turned 10, the same age as Buena Vista was when he won the Pertemps Final last year, and, given that he is trained by Cheltenham veteran O’Grady, it is probable that he is being trained to peak on the third week in March.

5th February 2012