Horses To Follow » Solita


Solita put up a really impressive performance to win the two-mile handicap chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Always travelling well on the outside of the field and towards the rear, she moved up nicely around the outside as they approached the fifth last fence. Still on the bridle as they jumped the fourth last, she was four horses wide around the home turn, but she travelled best of all into the home straight. She joined the leader Westerner Point at the second last, eased to the front on the run to the last, jumped that fairly well and was just punched out nicely by Paul Townend to record a four-and-a-half-length victory.

This was a really nice performance from Paul Nolan’s mare. She travelled best of all from a long way out, she could have been called as the most likely winner from the fifth last fence, and she found as much as it looked like she would to record an impressive victory. It was a nice race too, it was a decent handicap chase, and she clocked a fast time – despite the fact that she gave away ground by going wide throughout, and that she could have gone faster if she had been pushed or asked for more – the fastest comparative time of the day by a fair way and just 0.08secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.

The King’s Theatre mare is interesting now as a chaser. A good novice and handicap hurdler last season, she won her beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse last November, but she unseated back at Fairyhouse next time, and she disappointed in a Grade 3 mares’ chase at Navan in December. Switched back to hurdles, she put up a moderate performance in Blazer’s handicap hurdle at Leopardstown on Irish Gold Cup day, but she bounced back to form on her last run before Sunday to land a handicap hurdle at Leopardstown at the end of February. The handicapper raised her hurdles mark by 4lb for that run to a mark of 127, but she obviously raced off her chase mark of 124 on Sunday. She has been raised 10lb for this win, but that was just her fourth chase and she is only seven, so she has the potential to go beyond even her new chase mark of 134. She appears to be at her best on goodish ground, so she will be of interest now if she runs at Punchestown even off her new mark, especially if the ground is even better than it was at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

27th March 2016