Horses To Follow » Sizing Granite

Sizing Granite

Sizing Granite put up a nice performance to win the two-mile novices’ chase at Naas on Sunday. Quickly into a nice rhythm for Jonathan Burke behind the good pace that was set by habitual tearaway Rory O’Moore, his jumping was impressive and accurate throughout. A close-up third as they rounded the home turn, he moved to the near side in the home straight, and joined Draycott Place and Fine Rightly in the lead at the second last fence. He jumped that obstacle well, moved on with Fine Rightly on the run to the last and, after jumping that fence well, about a half-length in front, he stayed on really well up the hill to the line to come away from Stuart Crawford’s horse in the final 100 yards.

This was a good performance by Henry de Bromhead’s horse. He probably didn’t travel as strongly as Fine Rightly through the race, but his jumping was good, and he stayed on really well to win in a good time. He was a decent novice hurdler last season, but he is built to jump fences, and he was really good in winning his beginners’ chase at Naas in November on his chasing bow, beating subsequent Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and Christmas Hurdle winner Lieutenant Colonel into second place. He was beaten when he unseated his rider in the Craddockstown Chase at Punchestown two weeks later, but his trainer said on Sunday that he probably ran him back too quickly after his Naas win, that he is probably a horse who needs time between his races. And sure enough, after a seven-week break, he came back well on Sunday, putting up the best performance of his career.

The Milan gelding is an exciting novice chaser now. He is apparently on track for the Arkle at Cheltenham, and he would be an interesting outsider in that if he took his chance in it, especially if he didn’t race between now and then. That said, he shapes as if he will improve as he steps up in trip. Of course, stamina is no liability to carry into an Arkle, but it may be that the JLT would be a more suitable Cheltenham Festival option this year. Either way, he is an exciting prospect who will be of interest wherever he goes next, and who is an exciting long-term prospect.

4th January 2014