Horses To Follow » Devils Bride

Devils Bride

Devils Bride put up a good performance to finish second behind Ballyoisin in the two-mile-one-furlong handicap chase at Killarney on Tuesday. Settled in mid-division by JJ Slevin through the early stages of the race, he moved up to take second place behind Ballyoisin at the third last fence. It always appeared as if Ballyoisin was travelling better from that point, and the Gigginstown House horse just couldn’t get to him, but he ran all the way to the line to finish within five lengths of the winner, and nicely clear of the rest of the field.

Time may show that there was no disgrace in finishing second to Ballyoisin. He is an exciting young chaser who loves this good ground and who is getting the hang of jumping fences now. He was beaten by Attribution at Limerick on Saturday, but that was just four days after his Killarney exertions, and he was ridden aggressively, and Attribution is a good horse.

Devils Bride was conceding weight, 4lb after taking JJ Slevin’s 5lb off, and the first two finished nicely clear of Mister Fiftyone, with an admittedly below-par Rock The World well behind. The race was run over an extended two miles, probably sharper than ideal for the Gigginstown House horse and probably close to optimum for Ballyoisin, and the winning time was good.

Devils Bride is 10 years old now, and he has raced 20 times over fences, so he is not unexposed, but he is interesting now with Galway just around the corner. The Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding goes particularly well at the Ballybrit track, his record there reads 4P141, and he ran a cracker in the Plate there last year before coming out again four days later and winning a handicap chase off a mark of 150. He raced off a mark of 153 on Tuesday and the handicapper has left him on that mark, which is a mark which gives him a chance. He was rated 159 after Galway last year. The Plate is the obvious race for him again, and he could run a big race in it again at a decent price. The Plate is not obviously a race for older horses, but Bob Lingo won it as a 10-year-old in 2012, so it can be done.

18th July 2017