Horses To Follow » Shanahan’s Turn

Shanahan’s Turn

Shanahan’s Turn put up a nice performance to win the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novices’ Chase at Punchestown on Sunday. The race may not have taken as much winning as it might have, with Very Wood obviously under-performing and Lots Of Memories breaking a blood vessel, but there was still a lot to like about the performance that Henry de Bromhead’s horse put up in winning it.

Held up in the early stages of the race, he made nice progress on the outside for Jonathan Burke from the fourth last fence. He was a little tight to the third last, but it did not halt his momentum. He moved up nicely around the home turn, joined Lots Of Memories on the run to the second last, and picked up impressively after getting in tight to the last to come clear of Indevan.

Indevan may not be among the top echelons of Willie Mullins’ novice chasers this year, but he is a 145-rated chaser, and Shanahan’s Turn beat him well. The element of this victory that most impressed was the manner in which the Indian Danehill gelding picked up after landing a little flat-footed over the last. He accelerated away from the fence and away from a useful rival under just a hands-and-heels ride from his young jockey. Shanahan’s Turn is only six, and this was just his second chase. Winner of his only point-to-point and second in his only bumper, he was a good novice hurdler last season, he won his maiden and he wasn’t disgraced in the Neptune Hurdle at Cheltenham in March or the Grade 1 two-and-a-half-mile novices’ hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April. That said, he was always a chasing in-waiting. He looked good in beating the useful Wounded Warrior in his beginners’ chase at Punchestown at the end of October, and this was another step forward from that. His trainer said that the Grade 1 three-mile novices’ chase is next up, he should improve again for stepping up in trip, and he will be very interesting there. He is an exciting staying novice chaser for the season ahead.

16th November 2014