Horses To Follow » *Midnight Stroll

Midnight Stroll

Midnight Stroll only won the 2m 4f handicap hurdle by a half a length, but he was impressive in so doing. Settled towards the rear of the field early on, Robet Tyner’s horse made nice progress towards the outside as they raced out of the back straight. He travelled well into the home straight, he moved up nicely in behind the leaders, and he moved into third place as they raced towards the second last flight. He travelled strongly to that point, but Philip Enright just cajoled him into it until after they landed over the final flight, at which point he just rode him out, hands and heels. The rider always looked confident that he would get there, and he probably won with at least a little bit more in hand than the bare winning margin from Chatham Street Lad, who ran well last Saturday to finish second behind Agusta Gold in a handicap hurdle at Navan off a 4lb higher mark.

Winner of two of his six races over hurdles as a novice last season, Midnight Stroll made his debut this term in a beginners’ chase at Naas, and he didn’t run badly in finishing fourth behind the exciting A Plus Tard. He was a little keen that day on his first chase and his first run since April, and he was less keen here, but it was still obvious that his rider wanted to settle him out the back. The handicapper raised him by 8lb to a mark of 136, but he is lightly raced. He has the potential to go higher over hurdles. He should be well suited to the fast pace that the big field in those valuable two-mile handicap hurdles usually generate. He will also be of interest when he goes back over fences, and he should do even better when he gets s stronger pace.

Cork, 5th January 2019