Horses To Follow » Great Wide Open

Great Wide Open

Great Wide Open put up another nice performance to finish second behind Strait Of Zanzibar (who won again at Laytown on Thursday under a 5lb penalty) in the seven-furlong handicap at Dundalk on Sunday. Settled in mid-division from his inside draw by Fran Berry through the early stages of the race, the son of Starspangledbanner moved to the inside early in the home straight, making full use of the cutaway. He made nice progress along the inside rail, and it looked as if his run was going to get him there as they approached the furlong pole. However, Strait Of Zanzibar was strong out in the centre of the track, and he maintained a half-length advantage to the line, with Great Wide Open just getting up for second place in a three-way photo.

This was Charles O’Brien’s colt’s second promising run in the space of seven days. On his previous run, one week previously, in a six-furlong handicap at The Curragh, he finished well out in the centre of the track – having been second last of the 18 runners a furlong and a half out – to get up for fourth place behind Captain Power off a mark of 80, the mark off which he raced on Sunday.

While he got the seven furlongs well on Sunday, he won his maiden at Tipperary in April over five furlongs on soft ground, and a fast-run six on soft ground could be optimal for him now. He is only three and he has run just seven times in his life, so he remains open to plenty of progression as a sprinter. He is entered in the big six-furlong handicap at The Curragh next Sunday, and he could be an interesting outsider in that off a light weight if he takes his chance in it, especially if the ground comes up on the easy side. He goes well at The Curragh and a fast-run six furlongs on easy ground is close to optimal for him.

6th September 2015