Horses To Follow » De Faoithesdream

De Faoithesdream

A lot of the post-race attention after the two-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham on Friday was on the winner Bold Henry, and the third, the beaten joint favourite Monetaire. Not that those two horses did not put up top notch performances, because they did, both after early mistakes, but as a result of the attention that the pair of them were afforded, the performance that De Faoithesdream put up in finishing fourth may have gone under the radar.

It was always going to be difficult for Evan WIlliams’ horse to adopt his customary front-running role with fellow confirmed front-runner Next Sensation in the race. Sure enough, the pair of them took each other on over the first three fences – they were about eight lengths clear of the field as they went past the stands with a circuit to run – before De Faoithesdream got the better of that dual as they started off down the back straight. Both horses had to have expended significant energy, however, through the early stages of the race on ground that was truly tiring.

That said, De Faoithesdream settled into a nice rhythm in front, his jumping was really good, he travelled well down the hill and Paul Moloney actually had a little look around him as they approached the home turn to see how well his rivals were travelling. His early exertions inevitably took their toll from there, however, and he was only fourth when he jumped the second last fence, looking a little tired, which was entirely understandable as his early exertions took their toll. Even so, he kept on well on the run-in, coming back to wrest fourth place from Ut Majeur Aulmes at the line.

This was a good race, a race from which many future winners may emerge. It was run at a good pace and in a good time, and De Faoithesdream was almost certainly disadvantaged by helping to set the fast pace. He should be able to do better when he is not forced to go so fast in the early stages of the race. He could also do better on better ground and perhaps stepped up slightly in trip. He is only eight, this was just his eighth chase, and the fact that the handicapper left him on his mark of 130 – 2lb lower than his hurdles mark – means that there could be a big handicap chase in him in the near future.

14th November 2014