Horses To Follow » Sea Of Thunder

Sea Of Thunder

Sea Of Thunder jumped superbly to win the Captain Christy Novice Chase at Clonmel on his chasing debut on Sunday, a race which has been won by the likes of Mossbank and Church Island in the past, and he is a high-class chaser in the making.

The Gigginstown House gelding quickened into just about every fence and took lengths out of his rivals at most of them. The only exception was the fence down the far side first time around, the fifth, which he got all wrong and at which Davy Russell did brilliantly to recover, but the rider said afterwards that he was unsighted at the fence as Rockshandy jumped to his right across him. Because of that mistake, people may not generally appreciate the quality of his jumping here, that mistake aside he barely put a foot wrong. He eased clear of the chasers on the run around into the home straight, flew the last two fences and didn’t have to come off the bridle to record a 13-length win.

As chasing debuts go, this was one of the most impressive ones you’ll see. He apparently needs good ground to be at his best, but when he has it he has the potential to be even better over fences than he was over hurdles, and he was a high-class staying novice hurdler last season. Because of his liking for good ground, it is likely that trainer Charles Byrnes will look to get plenty of experience into him before we move into the depths of winter – he mentioned the novices’ chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting as a possible next target – and if he continues to jump as well as this then he will be difficult to beat. Charles Byrnes won the 2010 RSA Chase with another Gigginstown horse in Weapon’s Amnesty, and he has another candidate on his hands for that race now with Sea Of Thunder. It is early days, but quotes of 20/1 about him for the RSA Chase are not unfair.

30th Septebmer 2012