Horses To Follow » Road To Respect

Road To Respect

It finally all came right for Road To Respect in the Brown Advisory Plate. After making a mistake at the first fence, he travelled through his race well even though he was wide enough, he jumped well for Bryan Cooper and he won as easily as he liked. The Noel Meade-trained gelding, a three-parts brother to Meade’s Gold Cup third Road To Riches, travelled like the most likely winner from a long way out, and he landed a really competitive looking handicap chase with surprising ease. He finished clear of Baron Alco, who was probably a well-handicapped horse going into the race, and he clocked a fast time, 0.7secs faster than the time that Un De Sceaux clocked in winning the Ryanair Chase earlier on the day, which was itself a fast time. Novices do not have a good record in this race, so the Gigginstown House horse did well to win it, given that he is so inexperienced.

Fourth in the Drinmore Chase and beaten by Min and Some Plan during the winter, the son of Gamut was the only one who was able to get any way close to Acapella Bourgeois in the Ten Up Chase on very soft ground at Navan on his previous run. But this was obviously a step forward from that. He looked like a classy horse throughout this race, a graded horse running in a handicap.

Interestingly, the Gigginstown House horse Empire Of Dirt won this race last year off a mark of 142, and he went on to win a Troytown Chase this year off a mark of 148 and to finish second in the Irish Gold Cup. He is now rated 166. Road To Respect could progress along similar lines, although probably on a different programme. He is only six, he has raced just six times over fences, and there is no telling how high he could go. He was raised to a mark of 152, just 7lb higher than the mark off which he won here, and that is not harsh. He would be interesting in another handicap now if connections chose to go down that route before stepping back up into graded company.

16th March 2017