Horses To Follow » Apache Jack

Apache Jack

Apache Jack ran a lot better than the bare form of the race suggests in finishing third behind Jarry D’Honneur in the two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase at Punchestown on Saturday.

Always handy for Paul Townend, just behind the pacemaker and ultimate winner Jarry D’Honneur, his jumping was good for a chasing debutant, and he and the winner came away from the useful Bishop’s Road on the run around the home turn. The winner got away from Sandra Hughes’ horse from that point on the run to the second last fence, and Apache Jack was ultimately caught by Bishop’s Road inside the final 50 yards for the runner-up spot, but that was forgiveable, given that he chased the winner and that he was having his first run for 255 days.

Apache Jack was a good staying novice hurdler last season. He split Briar Hill and Very Wood in the Grade 2 Slaney Hurdle at Naas last January, before finishing a close-up third to the same Very Wood in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Then he rounded off the season by finishing fourth behind Beat That and Don Poli in the Grade 1 three-mile novices’ hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.

The Oscar gelding is all stamina, so this two-and-a-half-mile trip would have been on the short side for him. Nevertheless, it was a good step into the season after such a long break. It was a really encouraging run, and he should progress for the experience and for stepping up in trip.

10th January 2015