Horses To Follow » Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow has been unlucky now in his last two runs, and he will be interesting whenever he runs next. The first of those runs was at Chester last Saturday. Really well-backed close to the off after being just steady in the morning, on his first run for David O’Meara, he missed the break badly, thereby turning the potential advantage of stall one over seven and a half furlongs at Chester into a disadvantage. He travelled well and finished well, closing all the way to the line, but his poor start left him in an improbable position.

The first five home had all been in the first eight throughout in a field of 15, including the second and third, 20/1 and 25/1 shots respectively, whereas Frog Hollow was a hostage to fortune out the back and on the rail after his poor start.

David Nolan did manage to make some progress up the inside starting into the home turn, but he was still a long way back with nowhere to go around the home turn, and he again met trouble just inside the final furlong when angled off the rail. He had to switch back to the inside half a furlong out and he rattled home to finish fifth, but all the damage had been done at the start.

He was turned out quickly at Beverley on Wednesday, and although he was a beaten odds-on favourite, he again shaped really nicely. He was held up in a race in which the winner was allowed an easy time in front, and he was the only horse to make any inroads into the winner’s advantage, closing strongly late on to draw right away from the rest having had to come between horses.

The four-year-old is handicapped to win a decent handicap now on a mark of 80, 10lb below the mark off which he ran some good solid races in high-quality three-year-old handicaps early last season, and these runs suggest that he is back in his old form. Trained by Ralph Beckett at two and three, he was with Milton Bradley early this season after he had been bought by Dab Hand Racing, and he did shape encouragingly on his penultimate run for Bradley when fifth in a good handicap at Windsor in April. However, David O’Meara has proven in the past that he can elicit significant improvement from new recruits, and Frog Hollow is exactly the type of horse with whom he tends to excel. A strongly-run straight seven furlongs or mile should suit him well, and he should be winning soon.

8th June 2013