Horses To Follow » Pyromaniac


Pyromaniac put up a nice performance to win the two-mile handicap at The Curragh on Sunday.

Settled in mid-division by Fran Berry, he was a little keen behind the slow pace through the early stages of the race, and he was caught in a little bit of traffic as they started the turn for home. Once into the home straight, however, it did open up nicely for him on the far side, He made nice progress at the two-furlong pole, so quickly, in fact, that his rider had to sit up on him again, probably for fear of getting to the front too soon. Berry had to go when he did, however, and when he did, his horse picked up nicely. As it turned out, he probably did get to the front earlier than ideal, just outside the furlong pole and, when he did, Pyromaniac seemed to think that he had done enough. However, challenged by Awesome Tower on the outside, Berry kept him going all the way to the line to get home by a head in the end.

The winner can probably be marked up on the bare form of this race on three counts. Firstly, he was keener than ideal through the early part of the race. Secondly, he raced in mid-division in a race in which it was an advantage to race handily. The second, third and fourth horses home raced in first, second and third in the 19-runner field from early. And thirdly, he idled when he hit the front, he probably had a fair bit more in hand than the head by which he won. The winning time was not good, but that was a function of the sedate early pace, and Pyromaniac did well to come from off that pace to win.

Tony Martin’s horse is a decent hurdler, he finished third behind Vyta Du Roc in a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham’s November meeting last year, and he finished second behind Snake Eyes in a decent novices’ hurdle at this year’s Punchestown Festival, but he is shaping up to be an even better staying flat horse. Winner of a 12-furlong handicap at the Galway Festival last year off a mark of 73, he has progressed on the flat to the mark of 82 off which he raced on Sunday, and he can progress again. The handicapper has raised him 5lb to a mark of 87, and that is fair. He is only five, and he has the potential to progress beyond that mark.

He does have the option of going back over hurdles. It is interesting that Tony Martin sent out Thomas Edison to win a 12-furlong handicap at this meeting last year before sending him to Galway to win the Galway Hurdle, and the fact that Pyromaniac is one for one at Galway obviously makes the Festival attractive for him again. But wherever he goes next, he should be worth noting. He could be an Ascot horse or a Northumberland Plate horse or a Cesarewitch horse. Tony Martin’s runners are always to be noted when he sends them to Britain for one of the big staying flat handicaps.

24th May 2015