Horses To Follow » Speaker Connolly

Speaker Connolly

Speaker Connolly did well to finish third in the 2m 5f Leopardstown Chase. Weak in the market beforehand, the Alan Fleming-trained gelding started his race off towards the head of the main group, behind the two breakaway leaders Whisperinthebreeze and Vieux Morvan, but he drifted back in the field a little, and mistakes at each of the first two fences in the back straight didn’t help. Only eighth jumping the last fence in the back straight, he started to stay on from that point. The winner Whisperinthebreeze was clear on the run to the final fence, and Livelovelaugh got out after him, and it never looked like Speaker Connolly was going to get to them, but he still stayed on well on the near side for Donagh Meyler to take third place.

Winner of a handicap chase over this course and distance at Christmas, a race from which the runner-up Poker Party emerged in the interim to win a novices’ handicap chase at Naas impressively, Barry Connell’s horse was 11lb higher in the handicap on Sunday, but he proved that he was well able for his new mark of 130. He has the potential to go beyond this mark too, he is only six and this was just his fifth run over fences. Also, on this evidence, he would be well worth a try over further than this extended two and a half miles.

Leopardstown, 3rd February 2019