Horses To Follow » City Island

City Island

City Island looked very good in winning the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday. Always travelling well for Mark Walsh, he was squeezed out of it a bit on the run to the third last, and he had to fight for his position between Sams Profile and Valdieu on the run to the second last, but he was travelling well enough to win that battle and secure a good position for himself at the second last flight. He turned for home alongside the talented Champ, the pair of them had it between them from that point, but he stayed on more strongly to the line, the pair of them coming nicely clear of Bright Forecast.

Martin Brassil’s horse came into the race with bags of potential, he had passed the post first in his three hurdle races before Wednesday, but he had never contested a graded race, so he had plenty to prove. The form of his races had worked out well, however, and he proved that he was a Grade 1 horse with Wednesday’s performance, and the form is rock solid, with Challow Hurdle winner Champ in second, and Bright Forecast, Brewin’upastorm, Sams Profile and Galvin filling the next three places. It is strong form.

Connections were talking about keeping City Island to hurdles in the medium term and perhaps stepping him up in trip. As such, out of a half-sister to Morley Street and Granville Again, he could be a Stayers’ Hurdle horse for next season. More immediately, he will surely line up in either the two-and-a-half-mile Grade 1 novices’ hurdle at Punchestown or the three-mile Grade 1 novices’ hurdle at Punchestown, and he would be of interest in either.

Cheltenham, 13th March 2019