Horses To Follow » *A Plus Tard

A Plus Tard

A Plus Tard could only finish second behind Ballyoisin in the Grade 2 Fortria Chase, but Ballyoisin is very good, he is a fast and fluent jumper of fences who is a miles better chaser than he is a hurdler, he was race fit and he got into a lovely racing rhythm in front here for Mark Walsh. A Plus Tard ran well, but it always appeared as if he was going as fast as he wanted to go. He came under pressure at the third last fence, but he responded well to that pressure, and he came away from Hardline on the run to the last as he challenged Ballyoisin. He couldn’t match the Enda Bolger-trained gelding for pace from the last, but he still kept on well to get to within three lengths of JP McManus’ horse, and pull clear of Hardline in third.

It was a good run by Henry de Bromhead’s horse on his seasonal debut. It was his first run too outside of novice competition, and he was probably competing over a distance that was short of his best. He was beaten on his seasonal debut too last year, before stepping forward and winning his beginners’ chase at Naas, and he should progress from this. He is only five too, and this was just his sixth run over fences. He has lots of potential to progress as the season develops. He should progress for stepping back up to two and a half miles, the distance over which he cut loose last March in the Close Brothers Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He does not hold an entry in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown, which is not hugely surprising, as his trainer says that he is a better horse going left than going right, but he will be of interest wherever he goes now, ideally left-handed and over two and a half miles.

Navan, 10th November 2019