Horses To Follow » Jarry D’Honneur

Jarry D’Honneur

Jarry D’Honneur was sent off at long odds-on for the two-mile novices’ chase at Navan on Saturday, and he was entitled to win it well, given that he had 15lb and more in hand of his rivals, but there was a lot to like about the style of his victory.

Settled in second place by Ruby Walsh through the early stages of the race behind Rocky Wednesday, his jumping was good, almost too exuberant on occasion. He jumped his way into the lead at the first fence down the back straight, and proceeded to put in an exhibition of jumping over the next four fences down the back straight, quickening into his obstacles and landing with momentum. He got in a little tight to the first fence in the home straight, the third last, and that appeared to give his pursuers a chance, but he stood way off the second last and, while he wasn’t overly fluent at the last, he jumped it well enough and stayed on well up the run-in to come clear of Toubaloo.

Winner of his beginners’ chase over two and a half miles at Punchestown in January, it appeared that the two miles and five furlongs of the Flogas Chase at Leopardstown in February just stretched him a little, and he fell at the final fence, a tired horse. This extended two miles on heavy ground seemed to suit him far better, Ruby Walsh could be as aggressive on him as he liked. A free-going sort, he clocked a good time on Saturday – he was just 0.02secs/furlong outside Racing Post par – in beating rivals that he admittedly should have been beating. But his jumping impressed, as did the ease with which he travelled. He always appeared to have matters under control.

Winner of his last three hurdle races in France in the autumn of 2013, he was off the track between October 2013 and December 2014, when he made his Irish debut for Mullins and JP McManus, so he is still relatively lightly raced. He is only six, and Saturday’s run was just his sixth over fences, so he has lots of scope for progression. He would be an interesting outsider in one of the top two-mile novice chases at Punchestown now, and he would also be of interest in a big handicap chase between now and the end of the season off a mark of 140. He will also be an interesting chaser next season, when he should continue to progress.

28th March 2015