Horses To Follow » Tom Horn

Tom Horn

Tom Horn ran a lot better in the Munster National at Limerick on Sunday than his finishing position of ninth suggests. He was hampered a little down the back straight first time when Questions Answered fell in front of him, then he made a mistake at the next fence before manoeuvring his way back into the race. He made another significant error at the middle fence down the back straight final time, but he was still right there turning for home travelling like a horse who was all set to play a part. However, he faded from there, probably due to a combination of his early exertions taking their toll and the fact that this was his first run since July.

The Noel Meade-trained gelding was off the track for almost a year after finishing second to Arvika Ligeonniere in a beginners’ chase at Punchestown in May 2012 before he returned in a handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse last April. Winner of his beginners’ chase at Kilbeggan in June, he finished a close-up third behind the Munster National winner Double Seven at Kilbeggan on his previous run, and he is better than the bare form of Sunday’s run.

He is only seven and this was just his fifth run over fences, so he still has the potential to improve significantly from this, especially when he becomes a little tidier at his fences. Passed over by both AP McCoy and Mark Walsh on Sunday in favour of other JP McManus-owned horses, fourth-placed Shot From The Hip and the winner Double Seven, Tom Horn does seem to be at his best on good or fast ground, so he may not be a horse for the depths of winter. However, he will be of interest if he runs again before the soft ground sets in. He could still be a well-handicapped horse on a mark of 130 when he does get his ground. Longer term, he could be one to keep in the back of your mind for next spring when the ground begins to improve again. He could also be a Galway Plate horse.

13th October 2013