Horses To Follow » Madam Bovary

Madam Bovary

The Jessica Harrington-trained Madam Bovary put up a really likeable performance to win the two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase that opened Punchestown’s meeting last Saturday. Always travelling and jumping well for Robbie Power just behind the leaders, she made nice progress to take up the running at the third last. Travelling better than her two closest pursuers and main market rivals, Toon River and Toostrong, on the run to the second last, she always looked the likely winner from that point, and two accurate jumps at the final two fences cemented her superiority. She pricked her ears on the run to the final fence, she kept finding for hands-and-heels riding, and she probably won with a fair bit more in hand than the four-length winning margin.

There was a lot to like about this performance. The daughter of Old Vic travelled and jumped like a decent mare, the right horses chased her home, and the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time of the day and over 10 seconds faster than the time that Popaflora posted in winning the handicap chase run over the same course and distance a half an hour later.

This was just Madam Bovary’s third run over fences, just her 10th run under Rules, she has just turned seven and she can continue to progress now. She will be interesting now in a good mares’ chase, and she could be under-rated if she goes up in grade and takes on better geldings. She did win her bumper on good ground, but she goes really well on soft ground, she jumps out of it very well and, out of a half-sister to The Illiad, two and a half miles appears to be her optimum trip, at least for now.

12th January 2013