Horses To Follow » Star Neuville

Star Neuville

Star Neuville ran a really nice race to finish third in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Sent off an unconsidered 25/1 shot, and passed over by the owner’s rider Danny Mullins in favour of the winner Valmy Baie, he travelled well into the home straight and, while he couldn’t go with the front two as they quickened away, he did keep on well for this place.

This was Star Neuville’s first run since last April, and he is entitled to come on for the run. The last time we saw him, he finished a close-up third in the Irish Field Chase over the cross-country track at Punchestown. He showed an aptitude for jumping banks that day, and that should stand to him if he takes his place in the line-up for the Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham, apparently his intended target. He has reportedly had a wind operation since Punchestown, when he travelled well to the point-to-point fence before coming under pressure, and that could help him get home at Cheltenham. He finished a close-up third behind Lord Windermere and Marrasonien in a beginners’ chase at Leopardstown in December 2012, he does have plenty of ability, and he is now with Enda Bolger, a master of the banks races. A rating of 130 would see him get to run in the Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham with just 10st 6lb on his back if top weight Balthazar King stands his ground, and that would make him very interesting for that race.

22nd February 2014