Horses To Follow » Lyreen Legend

Lyreen Legend

Most of the talk following the Grade 1 Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Saturday surrounded the very narrow winner Boston Bob, and as such the performance of Lyreen Legend in finishing a close fourth may just have gone under the radar a little.

Dessie Hughes’ horse ran a really nice race though. He travelled strongly alongside Boston Bob up front for the first mile and a half, jumping nicely and showing no ill effects from his fall in the Grade 1 Topaz Novice Chase on his previous run. Bryan Cooper eased on coming towards the end of the back straight, he was still going well over the third last, which he jumped really well, and he had a four-length lead on the run to the second last. He was joined over that fence by some of the slightly speedier horses, as lack of a recent run possibly started to tell, but he kept at it well on the far side in the home straight, battling on tenaciously to go down by just a length in total, even though he finished only fourth.

This two-mile-five-furlong trip is probably short of Lyreen Legend’s best, but he jumped well out in front, and he kept on well after being passed. Also, his trainer reported that he needed about a week or 10 days off after his fall in the Topaz Chase, so it is possible that he would have needed this run at least a little.

He is interesting now for the RSA Chase or the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. The only time he had run over three miles before was in the Topaz Novice Chase on his previous run, and he was right there in contention, travelling nicely alongside the eventual winner Back In Focus, when he fell at the ditch three out. He was a classy two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdler last year, and he could be an under-rated horse if he runs at Cheltenham.

9th February 2013