Horses To Follow » Woodland Opera

Woodland Opera

Woodland Opera put up a nice performance to win the two-mile maiden hurdle at Navan on Sunday.

Settled just behind the pace by Robbie Power through the early stages of the race, the Jessica Harrington-trained gelding travelled well and jumped really nicely on this, his debut over hurdles. Tracking the leader, Potters Point on the run to the end of the back straight and around the bottom bend, he moved up on the outside of the leader at the third last flight. Potters Point moved on again in front on landing over that obstacle as Woodland Opera came under pressure, but he responded well to that pressure. He joined the leader at the final flight and stayed on really well up the run-in, always doing enough to hold the late challenge of Coney Island, with the first three coming miles clear of the field.

This was probably a good maiden hurdle, the first three home shape like really promising horses. Coney Island had already had a run this term, he had finished third behind Chesterfieldavenue in another good maiden hurdle at Naas two weeks previously, a race from which the runner-up Marakoush has since come out and won impressively, while Potters Point was a good bumper horse for Willie Mullins last season and was well supported here. Also, the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time on a good day’s racing, and over 10 seconds faster than the time that Baroque Style clocked in winning the handicap hurdle later on the day.

Woodland Opera is an exciting prospect, and he will be of interest wherever he runs next.

22nd November 2015