Horses To Follow » Bold Sir Brian

Bold Sir Brian

Bold Sir Brian took another step up the chasing ladder when winning a novice chase at Musselburgh on Saturday. The drop back to two and a half miles on goodish ground was not certain to suit him, and he was several lengths off the first two early on as Jason Maguire set a decent clip on Chester Lad. Peter Buchanan had to give him a little squeeze up the home straight first time around to keep him close up behind, but he closed right up as they went out on their final circuit, and he was right up with the front two, going at least as well, as they came to the last fence down the back straight, at which point Chester Lad fell when narrowly in front and nearly brought down Bold Sir Brian.

Lucinda Russell’s horse’s task was eased by Chester Lad’s fall, but being hampered gave the initiative to Stopped Out, and the manner in which Bold Sir Brian quickly gained the upper hand, nipping through on the inside and going into a several-length lead early in the home straight, was impressive, and quickly putting the useful yardstick Stopped Out in big trouble. A series of fluent jumps at the four fences up the home straight ensured Bold Sir Brian ran out a ready winner, and he finished a fresh-looking horse, one who probably had plenty left to give.

A Grade 2 winner on just his second run over hurdles, Bold Sir Brian had finished runner-up on his first two starts over fences this season and had won on his next two, so he was completing a hat-trick here. It is a sign of his versatility that those three wins have come at a range of trips – two miles and a furlong, two miles six and a half furlongs, and now two and a half miles, on heavy, soft and good to soft ground respectively, at both left-handed and right-handed tracks. This was a career-best by some way on Racing Post Ratings, he seems to be thriving over fences, and he has huge potential now.

By Brian Boru, he is out of Black Queen, who won a Galway Hurdle, he seems to stay well, and some cut in the ground is probably important to him. Connections were talking about the Jewson at Cheltenham as a possible target for him now, but that may not be the right race for him at this stage, he was well beaten when he ran in the Grade 2 Mersey Novice Hurdle at Aintree last season on good ground, and if the ground is on the quick side by the Thursday of Cheltenham, then he could just get run off his feet a bit. He probably needs further than two and a half miles and/or easy ground even now. Longer term he looks a staying chaser of some potential, he is only six, he has only raced 10 times in his life, and connections may decide to try to exploit his current handicap mark of 145 now rather than head to Cheltenham. He could be one for the graded staying chases next winter.

11th February 2012