Horses To Follow » Ardhoomey


Ardhoomey put up a big performance to finish fourth in the Rockingham Handicap at The Curragh on Sunday from stall nine.

You usually want to be drawn high on the sprint track at The Curragh, and that leaning was accentuated in the Rockingham this year by the fact that Foxy Forever jumped smartly from stall 24, the highest stall of all, right against the stands rail, and set a good pace. He was pursued on the near side by Discussiontofollow and Desert Law, who emerged from stalls 23 and 22 respectively, and the three of them effectively dominated the race from start to finish, ultimately finishing first, second and third.

Out in the centre of the track, Ardhoomey broke nicely from stall nine, and showed nice pace to get in behind habitual front-runner Caspian Prince, who raced from stall 10. Ger Lyons’ horse travelled well to the two-furlong pole, he was probably travelling better than the first three home at that point, and he picked up when Colin Keane asked him to. He eventually got the better of Caspian Prince with about 100 yards to run but, by that stage, the three on the near side had come clear. Although Ardhooney only finished fourth in the end, he did best of those horses who raced out in the centre. It would be interesting to know how he would have fared had be been drawn higher, and the race was run in a really good time, 0.21secs/furlong faster than standard just 0.02secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.

Raced just once as a juvenile last season, the Dark Angel gelding has improved with his racing, and for dropping in trip, this term. Winner of his maiden at Navan over six furlongs on fast ground at the end of May, he stepped up on that performance when he was dropped to five furlongs for the first time and finished second behind Line Of Reason in a listed race at Cork in mid-June, with good sprinters like Russian Soul, Monsieur Joe and Mirza behind him. Given a rating of 101 for his handicap debut on Sunday, the handicapper has dropped him back to a mark of 99, and that is fair. He should be up to winning a listed race at least, but he will be of more interest in a five-furlong or even a six-furlong handicap on fast ground off that mark.

28th June 2015