Horses To Follow » Cilaos Emery

Cilaos Emery

Cilaos Emery put up a really impressive performance to win the maiden hurdle at Navan last Sunday.

Prominent from early under Ruby Walsh, he took up the running after jumping the fourth flight of hurdles, and he never saw another rival after that. His jumping was really good for a debutant, he travelled easily up the home straight, and he was driven clear to win by six lengths from Joey Sasa, who was well clear of the third horse.

As well as being visually impressive, this performance had substance. The time that he clocked was good, the best comparative time on the day by a fair way, and the runner-up set a fair standard. He had been beaten just a neck by Brelade on his hurdling debut over the same course and distance on Troytown Chase day – and Brelade finished second in the Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Tuesday – and went on to win his maiden at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day.

It is difficult to know where Cilaos Emery fits in with the Willie Mullins novice hurdlers, or which route he will take now, but it may be that this performance was under-rated, at least initially, possibly because he races in Luke McMahon’s colours and not in the Ricci or Wylie colours. A game winner of his only bumper at Punchestown last April, he has plenty of pace, and he may not deviate too far from the minimum trip.

18th December 2016