Horses To Follow » The Way We Were

The Way We Were

The Way We Were caught the eye at Leopardstown on Sunday when just going down by the bob of the head to Steel Park in the two-mile handicap hurdle. This was a good performance from Edward O’Grady’s six-year-old on just his third run over hurdles and just his fourth run ever. He went on plenty early enough, he was in front half way down the back straight, and he picked up well after the last and battled on well, but he was just joined on the line and Steel Park’s head was down at the crucial moment. The time was good, the fastest comparative time on the hurdles track on the day, faster comparatively than Pittoni clocked in beating Won In The Dark and Oilily in the conditions hurdle half an hour earlier.

The Way We Were is only six, he was beaten by a useful rival two years his elder here, albeit one who was racing from 2lb out of the handicap, and he is progressing nicely now. He has stepped up on his first two runs to win and to just get beaten on his two most recent starts now, and it is probably no coincidence that they have been on better ground than his first two, given that he is a good moving horse by Definite Article. He beat Aupcharlie, who was third in last season’s Cheltenham bumper, at Leopardstown over Christmas, this was his first run since then, and his strength in the pre-race market on Sunday suggests he has been showing up well at home since that last run. He is a fluent jumper, his jumping was good here in handicap company, and that will stand to him if he is to return to novice company before the end of the season. He was running off a mark of 122 here and has been raised just 3lb, which looks more than fair for a progressive young horse who came very close to winning on his first foray into handicap company, and who may well just have been in front for long enough.

Edward O’Grady’s horse can progress again from this, and he should be worth following wherever he goes for the rest of the season. He will be particularly interesting if pitched into a big handicap now as he may well improve for slightly more patient tactics, a big field and a fast pace.

4th March 2012