Horses To Follow » Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island put up a really nice performance on his first attempt at three miles to land the novices’ handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Tuesday.

Settled in mid-division and towards the outside by Barry Geraghty through the early stages of the race, JP McManus’ horse moved easily through his race and moved up into fourth place as they raced down the back straight. Still four wide as they raced out of the back straight, he jumped the third last flight a little to his left, but he still moved easily around the home turn up on the outside of the well-backed Stowaway Shark, as that rival moved up on the outside of long-time leader Road To Respect. Stowaway Shark and Coney Island joined the leader on the run to the second last, both travelling well, but it was Coney Island who proved the stronger on the run between the final two flights. He popped the final flight and stayed on strongly up the run-in to beat Stowaway Shark by three lengths, with the pair of them pulling five lengths clear of the field.

This was a really likeable performance from Coney Island. There was a lot to like about the manner in which he went through his race, and the manner in which he picked up at the end of his race to beat a well-fancied and talented rival, with the pair of them coming clear. This is the longest trip over which the Eddie Harty-trained gelding has ever raced, and he got the trip really well. There was every chance that he would. From the family of Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy, the experiment was well worthwhile, and it obviously worked well. He is only five years old, and this was just his fifth race over hurdles. He was disappointing in the Deloitte Hurdle on his previous run, but that was in Grade 1 company on heavy ground. He seemed to appreciate the better ground on Tuesday well, and obviously the step up in distance. He is an exciting prospect. He will be of interest if he races over a trip at Punchestown, and he could be an exciting staying novice chaser next season if he goes down that route.

29th March 2016