Horses To Follow » Kylemore Lough

Kylemore Lough

Kylemore Lough ran a lot better than his finishing position in fifth place suggests in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Kerry Lee’s horse travelled well just behind the leaders from flagfall for Jamie Moore, and he jumped well until he stumbled on landing over the third last in an incident that could have ended any hope that he had of winning the race. His rider got after him, however, and he picked up well enough to hold his position around the home turn, to stop Bouvreuil moving in and cutting him off. He continued his progress on the run to the second last fence, he actually made up enough ground to hit the front before he jumped that obstacle, and he looked the most likely winner as they ran between the last two fences, he traded at 1.3 in-running. He started to weaken after jumping the last, however, and probably didn’t help that he drifted to his left, onto probably the worst of the ground on the inside, as Frodon and Aso finished best of all on the near side. He faded from there as Quite By Chance caught him for fourth place.

It was still a big run from the Revoque gelding. If he hadn’t made that mistake at the third last, his rider may not have had to use him up as early as he did, and he may have finished off his race more strongly. It is probably stretching things to say that he could have won, but he would probably have finished closer, and he was only beaten a total of two and three-quarter lengths.

Kylemore Lough was seriously progressive last season, he won five of his six chases, his last five, including the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse on his final run of the season, when he beat Outlander into second place. He improved from an official rating of 132 at the start of his winning spree to a rating of 156 at the end. He started off this season well too, he was only beaten a head by Royal Regatta in the Grade 2 Stella Artois Chase at Ascot in November, when he had God’s Own two lengths behind him in third.

Saturday’s run was probably another step forward from that. He is only seven, he has raced just eight time over fences, and he is probably still improving. The handicapper left him on his mark of 156, which is a mark off which he could win one of these big handicap chases and, at his best on soft ground, he will be of interest wherever he goes now.

10th December 2016