Horses To Follow » Cause Of Causes

Cause Of Causes

Spring Heeled was a good winner of the Kim Muir Chase on Thursday, but it is difficult to think that runner-up Casue Of Causes would not have won had he jumped the final fence a little better.

Spring Heeled led from flagfall, and put up a huge front-running performance, whereas Cause Of Causes was held up towards the rear and towards the outside by Nina Carberry. He wasn’t exuberant at his fences, he is a fairly small horse and he is never going to be really impressive at his obstacles, and he was a little stuttery at one or two, but he was generally safe. He was hampered a little when Tabhachtach unseated his rider beside him at the 14th fence, and he wasn’t helped by the loose horse on the run to the fourth last, nor by Buddy Bolero’s fall at that fence, but he still moved nicely in behind the leaders on the run down to the third last fence.

He travelled really well into the home straight, jumped into second place at the second last, and moved menacingly in behind the leader on the run to the last. An adequate jump at that fence would surely have seen him home, but he got in tight and blundered, losing ground and energy and momentum. In fairness to JP McManus’ horse, he did recover his equilibrium and he did get after Spring Heeled, but it never looked likely that he would catch him, although he did close the gap to less than two lengths at the line.

Beaten a short head in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on his previous run off a 7lb lower mark, this was another step up from the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding, and he proved here that he could stay three and a quarter miles on good ground.

The handicapper has raised him 6lb, but that still leaves him on a mark of 146, 6lb lower than his peak over hurdles and just 4lb higher than the mark off which he won the Ladbroke Hurdle as a four-year-old in December 2012. He is still only six, and this was just his eighth run over fences, so he still has scope to progress further. He could be an Irish National horse, although the big Fairyhouse fences may not be the thing for him. He might be seen to better effect in the Scottish National.

13th March 2014