Horses To Follow » Hargam


Hargam put up a good performance to beat Karezak in the Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on Saturday, and he has to be on your shortlist for the Triumph Hurdle now. Settled just behind the leaders through the early stages of the race by AP McCoy, the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding made nice progress down the hill over the second last flight, and moved past Stars Over The Sea and into second place behind Karezak as they turned for home. It looked at that point as if he was travelling much better than the leader, but he did have to battle as Alan King’s horse found plenty on the far side. They were split by the width of the track, but there was a lot to like about the manner in which Hargam battled all the way to the line to get home by just over a length.

This was a good performance. Karezak is a good juvenile hurdler. An ex-John Oxx horse, an Aga Khan-bred horse, he had beaten Golden Doyen at Chepstow in October, and he only just gave best to Old Guard at Newbury on Hennessy weekend. Saturday’s run was probably a step forward on that in his first-time visor. He and Hargam pulled 30 lengths clear of their field, and the winning time was good, just 0.6secs slower than the time that The New One clocked in winning the International Hurdle later on the day.

Karezak is good, he deserves his place towards the top of the Triumph Hurdle betting, but there is a chance that Hargam will be better. Another Aga Khan-bred horse, this was just JP McManus’ horse’s second run over hurdles, and just his fifth run ever under all codes. A winner over a mile and a half at Longchamp for Alain de Royer-Dupre, he could prove to be a very good juvenile hurdler now. He obviously learned a lot from his defeat to Golden Doyen at Cheltenham’s November meeting on his debut over hurdles and, a son of Sinndar, he should do even better on better ground. He will have to continue to progress if he is to develop into a Triumph Hurdle horse, but he is an exciting prospect.

13th December 2014