Horses To Follow » Phil The Flyer

Phil The Flyer

Phil The Flyer put up a really impressive performance to win the two-mile handicap hurdle at Navan on Saturday. Travelling well through the early stages of the race for Shane Shortall at the head of the main group behind the two breakaway leaders, he moved up to take up the running after they had jumped the second flight in the back straight, and he was never headed thereafter. Given a kick in the belly on the run to the third last flight, he came clear from there, coming right away from his rivals over the final two flights before being eased down close home, still with seven lengths in hand of his rivals.

This was a fairly comprehensive performance from Ray Hackett’s horse. He had made all when he won at Cork on his previous run over two and a half miles, and he seemed to enjoy bowling along in the front rank here too over two. He bounced off the good ground on both occasions. That Cork run was his first run back after a break of three months, and it obviously brought him forward again. Saturday’s run was a career-best by some way, and he clocked a useful time, by far the fastest time on the day and just 0.13secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.

The handicapper raised him 14lb for this to a mark of 123. That is a fair hike in absolute terms, but it is difficult to argue that this performance did not merit a hike of that magnitude. He holds two entries at Tipperary on Sunday, in the Grade 3 hurdle and the handicap hurdle, and he will be of interest if he takes up either one. If he doesn’t, he will be of interest wherever he goes next before the deep winter ground sets in.

26th September 2015