Horses To Follow » Turban


Turban could be worth following again now after he put up a taking display to win the Dan Moore Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

There was very little not to like about this performance from Willie Mullins’ horse. He travelled well for Ruby Walsh, he jumped easily and accurately, he made effortless progress on the run to the fourth last fence, he picked up nicely to hit the front between the final two fences, he quickened on the run to the last and he stayed on strongly up the run-in to come clear of Competitive Edge.

The form of this race is solid. Runner-up Competitive Edge is a talented horse himself who was well-fancied and well-backed, and Turban beat him well, the pair of them clear of Lastoftheleaders, in a good time, the fastest comparative time of the day by some way and well under Racing Post par.

Willie Mullins said after the race that that was Turban’s Gold Cup for the year, but there is no reason why he cannot progress again, given that this was just his fourth chase. The handicapper has raised him 11lb to a mark of 151, but that is still 4lb lower than the RPR that he achieved here, and that is without taking his potential for progression into account.

He could get further, but this two miles on soft or heavy ground seems to suit him well for now (he has never finished out of the first two in seven runs now under those conditions), and there is every reason to believe that he could make the step up to graded class no problem with those conditions, as his trainer suggested afterwards. Alternatively, he could be a horse for one of the big two-mile handicap chases on soft ground, given how easily he travels and how well he jumps. If it happened to come up soft on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, as it did last year, then he could be a Grand Annual horse.

19th January 2014