Horses To Follow » Ozeta


Ozeta shaped better than her finishing position of sixth of 20 suggests in the Irish Lincoln at The Curragh on Sunday.

Held right up in the early stages of the race, JP McManus’ mare was still stone last with two and a half furlongs to run, but she made nice ground on the far side under Fran Berry on what was probably the slowest part of the track to be closest at the finish. She didn’t have the instant acceleration that would have been required from the rear of the field, but she did make good progress from the two-furlong pole, and she kept on well to finish a clear sixth.

A listed winner in France for Elie Lellouche both on the flat and over hurdles (she beat Utopie Des Bordes in the hurdle race, and that filly is now well-regarded and in training with Nicky Henderson), she joined Nicky Henderson herself last season. She was disappointing for Henderson, recording just one win in a very weak fillies’ juvenile hurdle at Taunton, and she didn’t really show anything on her first couple of runs for Boots Madden either until she finished second to Steps To Freedom at Dundalk in February.

She was racing here off a mark of 96, and that may be a mark off which she can win now, especially as she should be better over slightly further than this mile. More than that, however, now that she has found some form again, she could be really well treated over hurdles on a mark of 109. She seems to handle all types of ground and she should be worth noting wherever she runs now, but especially if she runs next in a handicap hurdle.

24th March 2013