Horses To Follow » Listen Boy

Listen Boy

This was a really promising run from Listen Boy in the Class 3 handicap hurdle at Bangor on Saturday. Not only was it his first try in a handicap, it was also his first run over three miles, and he looked to relish every yard of the longer trip. He was weak in the market in the morning, he travelled well through to the middle part of the race, but was checked in his run a couple of times and then landed on all fours at the last flight in the back straight, after which he was playing catch up. Even so, he kept at it well and stayed on well to finish fourth, closing in on the second and third all the way to the line, even though Daryl Jacob wasn’t overly hard on him once his winning chance had gone.

It was fairly difficult to make up ground at Bangor all day, so this run can be marked up at least a little, especially as that mistake at the third last came just at the wrong time, just as the pace was increasing. A mark of 118 is not harsh (the handicapper left him unchanged after this), he can do much better than this, and he could be in line for a big two-and-a-half-mile, or, more likely, three-mile handicap hurdle now that the ground is getting better – he is by Presenting, and he is bred to appreciate good ground.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’s horse is only six, this was just his third run over hurdles, and he has plenty of scope for progression. Given that his dam is from a smart jumping family, and that he jumps fairly accurately, and has won a point-to-point, and that he has jumped over fixed brush hurdles at Haydock, he could make a useful novice chaser next season. There could well be a decent prize for him before then though, possibly at Perth’s April Festival, a meeting at which Twiston-Davies does well.

24th March 2012