Horses To Follow » Velvet Maker

Velvet Maker

Velvet Maker put up a really impressive performance to win the two-mile beginners’ chase at Naas on Sunday.

Strong in the market beforehand, Barry Connell’s horse was sent to the front from flagfall by Adrian Heskin, and he was never headed. His jumping was really good throughout, and he came away from his rivals from the second last fence, keeping on well up the run-in to win by 11 lengths from Dysios, with another three lengths back to A Sizing Network in third.

This was a good beginners’ chase. Favourite My Hometown was a little disappointing in fourth place, but Dysios is a good second-season chaser who has a handicap chase in him off his current mark of 127 and A Sizing Network was a good novice hurdler last season who was racing over fences for the fourth time. Velvet Maker beat the pair of them well, and he clocked a good time, 0.23secs/furlong faster than standard, admittedly on fast ground.

Winner of his bumper in France in August 2013, he was only beaten seven lengths when third to Vautour in a maiden hurdle at Navan in December 2013. Off the track for almost a year after that, he finished second in his first two maiden hurdles last season before getting off the mark at Fairyhouse in January, when he came home 10 lengths clear of his 19 rivals.

Still just six, Sunday’s run was just his seventh run ever. As importantly, it was his first chase, so he has lots of scope for progression as he gains experience over fences. Trainer Alan Fleming said that he was a pure two-miler, and it is difficult to argue with that. He is an exciting novice chaser who is a little under the radar, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

1st November 2015