Horses To Follow » Killer Crow

Killer Crow

Killer Crow did well to finish second behind Empire Of Dirt in the Leopardstown Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday, given that he was held up off what proved to be a fairly sedate pace.

This is a race in which it is usually an advantage to race prominently, and that factor was exacerbated this year by the sedate early pace. Settled towards the rear of the field through the early stages of the race by Bryan Cooper, Killer Crow’s jumping was good and he moved easily down the back straight. Still second last as they turned to face up to the second last fence, he moved nicely away on the landing side, and got a nice run around the home turn along the inside. He tracked Empire Of Dirt down to the final fence, apparently travelling better than his fellow Gigginstown House horse, but Empire Of Dirt was able to pick up on landing over the last, having travelled easily up with the pace, Killer Crow picked up too, he came two and a half lengths clear of Seabass in third, but he couldn’t close the gap on Empire Of Dirt, and he went down by two lengths in the end.

It was still a fine performance from Gordon Elliott’s horse. He was the only horse who could get into it from the rear, the winner, third and fourth had all raced prominently, and he looked a real danger to Empire Of Dirt when he made his progress on the run from the second last fence. He was probably significantly disadvantaged by the sedate early pace, and he will be interesting stepped back up to three miles and ridden patiently like this.

The handicapper raised him 4lb to a mark of 134, but that is fair. He is only seven and this was just his seventh chase, so he still has plenty of scope for progression. It is significant that Bryan Cooper chose to ride him in front of the winner, he is obviously well regarded at home. By Presenting, he would be very interesting over three miles on better ground now and the three-mile handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival would be a legitimate target.

17th January 2016