Horses To Follow » Dazzling Susie

Dazzling Susie

Dazzling Susie ran a remarkable race in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday. She quickly set up a long lead in the hands of Michael Butler, she must have been 20 lengths clear passing the post on the first circuit and, if anything, despite a sloppy jump at the first flight on the final circuit, she had extended that lead as she started down the back straight.

It looked as though she would be swamped when Away We Go and Our Girl Salley joined her on the outside after the second last flight, and she did drop back into third place on landing over the last, but she battled back remarkably gamely to regain second place, and she was closing on the leader again all the way to the line, despite having spent a bit more time in the air over the final flight than the other two. That makes you think that she might have fared even better had she actually been ridden even more aggressively. Also, she made a couple of significant errors at her hurdles on the way around, but for which she could have gone close to winning.

John Phelan’s mare has been raised 4lb for this, but she is still 11lb lower over hurdles than she is over fences. This was her fist run over hurdles since last June, since which time she has attained her rating of 135 over fences. She should be well able to win a similar race off her new hurdles mark of 124.

This was run over two and a half miles, and she could stay three miles on this evidence, although she was entered in a two-mile race at Leopardstown on Sunday. She obviously appreciated the return to slightly better ground here as well, and she will be an interesting mare now for the spring.

23rd February 2013