Past Winners » Sort It Out


Abre De Vie caught the eye in the Albert Bartlett, but he caught everyone’s eye, he hasn’t been missed at all, and he is very short at no better than 11/2 for a 25-runner handicap hurdle.

Also, the Albert Bartlett was a particularly attritional race this year and the only horse of the first nine home to run again since, No More Heroes, was well below form at Punchestown on Wednesday. Abre De Vie is only five, and it may be that he will need more time to recover from his Cheltenham run …

Sort It Out is a really progressive horse. An easy winner over today’s course and distance on New Year’s Eve off a mark of 111, he followed up in a good handicap hurdle on Hennessy day at Leopardstown off a mark of 120 when he was suited by the strong pace, dropped back to two miles. On his latest run, he finished second to Wicklow Brave in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham off a 14lb higher mark when we had him on side, and there are reasons for thinking he can progress again today.

They went a strong pace in the County Hurdle and his stamina came into play, but only after he had had quite a rough trip right up the inside. In a good position setting off down the hill (despite already having been hampered), he got shuffled right back over the second last and was well back turning for home, but he stayed on all the way up the hill, despite nearly falling at the last, to come through and finish second.

Given the manner in which he stayed on so strongly there over a stiff two miles and one furlong on easy ground, you have to think he will be even better back up at two and a half miles now. Wicklow Brave was clearly a really well-handicapped horse at Cheltenham, but Sort It Out beat the rest quite well in the end.

That was one of the most competitive two-mile handicap hurdles of the season, the form is already working out well, as you would expect, and he is just 2lb higher today. He has good experience of big fields now, he is still only six and still progressing, and the ground should be ideal today. He has a lot in his favour.