Horses To Follow » Federici


Federici put up a nice performance to finish fifth in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Settled towards the outside by Robbie Colgan through the early stages of the race, Enda Bolger’s horse was well back in the field as they moved down the back straight. He made some progress on the outside as they left the back straight and, while the leaders got away from him early in the home straight, he stayed on all the way to the line to snatch fifth place, closest at the finish.

It was difficult to make ground from the rear at Leopardstown on Saturday, unless they went too fast up front, which they did in the Irish Gold Cup and in the juveniles’ hurdle, but they didn’t go too fast here, and the pace held up well. The first four home all raced prominently, or at least no worse than mid-division throughout. Federici did best by far of those horses who raced in rear.

This two-mile trip should have been an inadequate test for the Overbury gelding, and that is how it appeared to pan out. The best performances of his career have been over two and a half miles and more. He will be of interest returned to that type of trip now, or two miles and six or even three miles.

The handicapper left him on his mark of 111 for this, and that is a mark off which he should be competitive in handicap hurdles, back up in trip. He is rated far higher over fences, but he is a better chaser, and he will also be of interest returned to chasing, again, over a trip. His major target, however, may be the three-mile banks race at the Punchestown Festival. He finished second behind Josies Orders in the race last year on just his second attempt over the banks and, given that he is trained by cross-country specialist Enda Bolger, you can be sure that he will have been well schooled over the cross-country obstacles in the interim.

6th February 2016