Horses To Follow » Road To Respect

Road To Respect

Road To Respect ran a fine race to finish third in the Ryanair Chase. Noel Meade’s horse travelled well through his race for Sean Flanagan, he was travelling as well as any of his rivals on the run down the hill to the third last fence, but he got in tight to that obstacle, which caused him to lose valuable ground and momentum at a crucial stage of the race. He was always playing catch-up after that and, even though he came back on the bridle around the home turn, he just couldn’t get to Frodon and Aso. He didn’t really meet the second last fence on a stride, and, while he was good and long at the last, he just couldn’t bridge the gap.

Of course, this race was all about Bryony Frost and Frodon, but the performance that Road To Respect put up in finishing third, just three lengths behind the winner, may have gone a little under the radar as a result. It was probably up there with the best of his career, despite the fact that he came home without his off-hind shoe.

The Gigginstown House horse is a top class horse, he finished fourth in last year’s Gold Cup, when the combination of ground and distance probably stretched his stamina beyond its limit. He was only seven then though, he is more mature now. He looked very good on his seasonal debut at Down Royal, and he ran Bellshill to a short head in the Irish Gold Cup, when he didn’t jump as well as he can jump off the good ground. He is at his best going left-handed, so, even though he seems to be better going right than he used to be in his younger days, it may be that the Betway Bowl at Aintree rather than the Punchestown Gold Cup is the race for him now.

Cheltenham, 14th March 2019