Horses To Follow » Trifolium


It was difficult not to be impressed with Trifolium’s performance in winning the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday. Settled on the leader’s tail by Davy Russell, he was always moving well and he was clever when he got in too close to a hurdle. He was still green though too, he jumped over a patch of ground as they passed a post on the inside of the track on the run to the third last, and he pricked his ears and jumped big at the second last after he had hit the front. He had all his rivals in trouble shortly after that though, with minimum encouragement from his rider. Russell had a look around him as he levelled up for home several lengths in front, he met the last on a good stride and the horse only had to be nudged out for a few strides to record a nine-length win over Simenon, with a further nine-length gap back to a couple of highly regarded horses.

Trifolium created a deep impression here, he is hugely progressive, and he may well be good enough to take his chance in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle now, although he may not be the Gigginstown House first string there with Midnight Game set to run, and possibly Make Your Mark too. His trainer Charles Byrnes said afterwards that the horse would prefer better ground, and that factor, coupled with the experience he now has over hurdles under his belt, could easily make him a player in the Festival curtain raiser.

He has been slightly free in his races thus far over hurdles, and while he was better in that regard here, he still didn’t settle perfectly. He was outstayed by So Young on his previous run at Navan having looked a big threat to the long odds-on winner at the second last flight, and, while that was a really good run from a novice against one of last season’s leading novices, a World Hurdle contender if his trainer allows him go down that route, he has a lot of pace, and it may just be that the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is not the race for him at this stage. He could well be an Aintree horse though, the flatter track there may suit him better than Cheltenham’s undulations. He should be better now stepped up in class, wherever that may be. The faster pace of a classier race should suit him well.

5th February 2012