Horses To Follow » Hargam


The quality of the performance that Hargam put up in finishing third behind his stable companions Peace And Co and Top Notch in the Triumph Hurdle, on ground that should have been softer than ideal, may have gone a little under the radar. JP McManus’ horse may be a little under-rated now.

Settled in second place behind the clear leader Dicosimo by AP McCoy, the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding’s jumping was very good for a juvenile, and he travelled really well down the hill to the second last flight. Once over that obstacle, he made nice progress on the bridle on the inside around the home turn, and just about hit the front on the run to the final flight. As soon as he did, he was joined by Top Notch and Peace And Co, and his two rivals raced closer to the favoured stands rail. The three stable companions were in the air together at the last and, while Peace And Co and Top Notch came away up the hill, Hargam still kept on all the way to the line to finish third, 10 lengths clear of the fourth horse Devilment.

This looks like a really strong Triumph Hurdle. The right horses came to the fore, and the winning time was good, the second fastest race run on the day, second only to a lightning-fast Gold Cup, and 1.3 seconds faster than the time that Wicklow Brave clocked in winning the County Hurdle over the Triumph course and distance 35 minutes later. Peace And Co and Top Notch are obviously top class juveniles, but their form in the lead up to Cheltenham was all on soft ground. Hargam is a son of Sinndar, and he put up the best performance of his career at Musselburgh on his last run before the Triumph, on the first occasion on which he encountered good ground. He will be of big interest now at Aintree or Punchestown on good ground, and he is a horse worth keeping in mind for Cheltenham next year, when it is likely that he will encounter better ground than the genuinely soft ground that they had on the last day this year.

13th March 2015