Horses To Follow » Il Fenomeno

Il Fenomeno

Il Fenomeno did really well to finish fifth in the Boylesports Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday, given how the race panned out. Noel Meade’s horse raced six or seven wide throughout, made steady headway widest of all down the back straight and, having joined the leader at the end of the back straight, pressed on across the top of the course, taking up the running and stretching his field out over the second last flight. He was headed on the run to the final flight, but he actually stuck on well up the run-in to get back into fifth. It was a gutsy performance in his first-time blinkers.

Il Fenomeno can do better now if he is held up for longer, and he could be a well-handicapped horse on a mark of 133. He was just below top class last season as a novice, he won the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan and he was third to Benefficient in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle. He handles this soft ground well, and there could be a big handicap in him now, perhaps if he is held up for a little longer, and as long as the blinkers work as well next time as they did here. He is entered in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on 9th February, and he would be of interest at a big price if he took his chance in that.

26th January 2013