Horses To Follow » Free Expression

Free Expression

Free Expression came off second best in his battle with Outlander in the two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase at Punchestown on Saturday but, while both horses are obviously exciting novice chasers for the season ahead, it may be that Free Expression is better than the bare form of his run suggests.

He jumped well through the early stages of the race and, when Outlander made mistakes at each of the two fences before the turn into the home straight, it looked like Gordon Elliott’s horse would have his measure.  However, Free Expression got tightened up on the run around the home turn, with the result that Mark Walsh had to check him and move him to the outside, losing ground and momentum in the process.  He got out after Outlander in the home straight, but the Gigginstown House horse jumped the last two fences well and, while Free Expression closed all the way to the line, he just couldn’t catch him, with the pair of them finishing well clear of their rivals.

JP McManus’ horse was an exciting novice hurdler last season.  Winner of his only point-to-point and his only bumper, he won his first two hurdle races last season – beating Shantou Flyer and Rock The World in the latter, a Grade 2 contest, a race in which Martello Tower fell when probably booked for second place – before finishing third behind McKinley and Tell Us More in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Hotel Hurdle at Naas in January.  He was left off after that, he was never going to Cheltenham, presumably with his future over fences in mind.  He is apparently highly regarded by his connections, and he could make up into one of the top staying novice chasers this season.

14th November 2015