Horses To Follow » Art Of Payroll

Art Of Payroll

Art Of Payroll did well to win a maiden hurdle over two miles at Cork on Sunday given that he probably didn’t have the run of the race.

Quite weak in the market in the face of support for several of those ahead of him in the betting, Dessie Hughes’ horse was held right up at the back of the 16-runner field, whereas the second and third home were in the first six or seven throughout. He travelled strongly and made nice ground down the back straight up the inside. He was just squeezed out between horses on the run out of the back straight, and he was left a little further behind than ideal, but he made ground over the third last, jumped into third at the second last and picked up nicely on the run-in to win with a little in hand, Bryan Cooper winning a little cheekily, without resorting to the stick.

The form looks fairly solid with the favourite Easter Hunt – who would have won his only point-to-point run had he not fallen at the last – finishing second, and the pair of them coming away from the 104-rated Magical Moon on the run-in, with the front three clear.

The fairly steady pace may have masked Art Of Payroll’s authority. A stronger pace would probably have suited the runner-up better as well, but the winner could have been even more impressive in a more strongly-run race. He is German-bred, hailing from quite a good family (he is a three-parts brother to Group 3 winner Aubonne and his dam is a half-sister to a German Oaks winner), he jumped well here and he has the scope to progress from this. His trainer said afterwards that he had expected him to come on for the run, a notion that was also in evidence in his weakness in the market. He had been well beaten on his only previous run, in a bumper at Fairyhouse last April, but he jumped well here. Hurdling obviously suits him well and, still only a four-year-old, he may just have needed some time. He could just be a little under-rated up in grade next time having only won narrowly here.

20th October 2013