Horses To Follow » Golan Lodge

Golan Lodge

Golan Lodge put up a good performance to win the three-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Paul Nolan’s horse always travelled well for Jack Kennedy, he was a little keener than ideal if anything. Kept wide by his young rider throughout, he moved up on the run to the second last flight, he found himself five horses wide, and an error at the obstacle didn’t help. Even so, he was quickly back on an even keel and travelling well on the outside of Childrens List, who also travelled well, as they rounded the home turn. The two of them quickly pulled clear of their rivals without coming off the bridle. It appeared as though the Willie Mullins horse was travelling the better as they straightened up, but Golan Lodge kept with him, and you couldn’t have called it as they neared the final flight. They both jumped the obstacle well, but it was quickly apparent that the horse on the near side was proving the stronger, and Golan Lodge stayed on well up the run-in to prevail by a half a length, the front pair clear of their rivals.

This was a good performance from Golan Lodge. Childrens List had finished a close-up fourth in the Proudstown Hurdle on his previous run, behind Prince Of Scars, Russian Bill and Roll It Out, form that looks even stronger now than it did then, and Willie Mullins’ horse had a lovely run through the race here. Ruby Walsh got him nicely settled just behind the leaders and along the inside rail, whereas Golan Lodge was three or four horses wide throughout. The winner showed a lot of courage to win, despite giving away ground on the turns.

The Golan gelding is seriously progressive now as his jumping is improving. Fourth behind De Name Escapes Me at Fairyhouse in November over two and a half miles, he ran Flemenstorm to a half a length at Fairyhouse just before Christmas off a mark of 114 on his handicap debut over two miles and seven furlongs. Flemenstorm won again at Punchestown afterwards off a 4lb higher mark and is now rated 14lb higher than he was then, and Golan Lodge also improved from that race to win on Sunday off a 2lb higher mark. The handicapper raised him another 7lb for this, but that is a hike that he can take in his stride. That was just his fifth run over hurdles, and his sixth run under all codes, and he can continue to progress. He handles this soft ground well, and he stays three miles well.

17th January 2016