Horses To Follow » Home Farm

Home Farm

Mentioned here after he won his beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse in February, Home Farm is worth noting again after running a big race in the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday.

Settled in the middle of the pack by David Casey in the early stages of the race, he travelled well in the main. His jumping was a little novicey at times, he was a little scrappy at a couple of his fences on the first circuit, but he warmed up nicely and he wasn’t far behind the leaders passing the stands first time. He travelled strongly down the back straight, and he was looking to improve but he just got caught in traffic on the approach to and particularly after the third last fence. That put him on the back foot and left him with a lot of ground to make up in the home straight. He did stay on really well to finish third and, even thought it never really looked like he was going to win, he did close on the front two all the way to the line.

This was a super run from the Arthur Moore-trained gelding, still just a six-year-old on his handicap debut and stepping up a mile in trip. Moore had sent out Organisedconfusion to win the Irish National as a six-year-old in 2011, to become the first six-year-old to win the race since subsequent Aintree Grand National winner Rhyme N Reason in 1985, and he went close to repeating the feat here.

Home Farm proved here that he stays strongly, but he had shown over two miles and five furlongs in his beginners’ chase that he has a strong finishing kick over a much shorter trip as well. He had beaten the useful White Star Line in that beginners’ chase, and Dessie Hughes’ horse went on to run a cracker to finish third in the JLT Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Home Farm could be a top-class handicap chaser next season, he handles all types of ground, and he could be on a good mark for a race like the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, a race in which second-season chasers have a fine record. He could prove to be even better than a handicapper, he still has lots of scope for progression given that he is still only six and that this was just his fourth run over fences. Longer term, he is an Aintree Grand National prospect for 2015 or 2016.

1st April 2013