Horses To Follow » Clarach


It was difficult not to be impressed with the manner in which Clarach won the two-mile Adare Festival Weekend Rated Hurdle at Limerick on Sunday

Sports Line ensured the pace was strong and Clarach travelled really well throughout in the main body of runners. She jumped efficiently all the way through, she had moved up into third after the fourth hurdle from home, but Danny Mullins appeared anxious not to get there too soon and took a tug down on the inside. Having had to move off the rail to get around the weakening Sports Line as they began the turn for home, Mullins then moved his mare back to the inside in behind Perfect Smile at the top of the home straight, only pulling out to jump the second last. She jumped the last two fluently, didn’t have to come off the bridle and won with her head in her chest.

The time was good, especially as Clarach was unextended, the fastest comparative time of the day. Pires was second under Ruby Walsh, whose record on the horse coming into this race was 2122, and the form looks strong. This was Clarach’s third win on the bounce – two over hurdles and one on the flat – she seems like a hugely improved filly this summer. This was the highest mark off which she had ever raced, and she made light of it.

This should set her up now for a tilt at the Galway Hurdle. She has been raised 8lb for this to a mark of 130, but that is more than fair, and that rating should be enough to ensure that she gets into the Galway Hurdle, probably in the low 10sts, which would be ideal. Trainer Tony Mullins has apparently had the Galway Hurdle in mind for her since she won over the course and distance at last year’s Galway Festival. She jumps these Easyfix hurdles well – she won over them at Sligo as well and at Galway last year – and she came up the hill really well at last year’s Festival on her only visit to the track. Danny Mullins obviously knows her well and she could be a big player in the Galway Hurdle.

8th July 2012