Horses To Follow » Home Farm

Home Farm

Home Farm ran out a good winner of a decent two-and-three-quarter-mile beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday, beating a trio of good horses in White Star Line, Marasonnien and My Murphy.

Settled in the middle of the pack in the early stages of the race by David Casey, he jumped accurately, he was always travelling nicely and, taken to the outside, started to make ground down the back straight. Casey appeared to be keen to keep him restrained, he was still only sixth turning for home but he was within four length of the lead. Switched right back to the inside coming to the second last, he made ground between horses to hit the front over the final fence, and he quickly drew away before being eased down close to the line.

This was a really likeable effort from the six-year-old and he should be able to progress again from this now. The drying ground probably helped him, and he jumped better off it. This was just his seventh run under Rules, and just his third run over fences, so he has significant scope for progression. He won his only point-to-point as a four-year-old, when he had Albert Bartlett Hurdle favourite Ballycasey 28 lengths back in fifth, and he won a maiden hurdle impressively at Thurles last November when he was returning from a 10-month break. He looks to be better now over fences for being held up in behind horses and for racing on ground that isn’t heavy and, by Presenting, he should be better again on even better ground.

He stayed this trip well, and he should have no difficulty getting at least three miles. A lot will depend on what initial mark the handicapper gives him, but the big two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap chase back at Fairyhouse at their Irish Grand National meeting could be the race for him now. The fact that he has proven that he can handle the track and jump these stiff fences will be a significant asset to carry into that race. Longer term, he could progress to be a decent staying steeplechaser.

23rd February 2013