Horses To Follow » Ciel De Neige

Ciel De Neige

Ciel De Neige put up a good performance to finish fourth in the two-mile handicap hurdle. Settled towards the rear of the field early on by Barry Geraghty, he travelled well through his race, but he was a little tapped for toe as they quickened around the home turn, and he was forced wider than ideal. It never looked like he was going to get to his stable companions Janidil and Buildmeupbuttercup, who fought out the finish, and a slight mistake at the second last didn’t help, but he kept on well for pressure, running on well up the run-in to take fourth place in front of La Sorelita, and just failing to catch Articulum for third.

Willie Mullins’ horse is only four, he was one of just two four-year-olds in this competitive handicap hurdle, and it was just his fifth run over hurdles. He didn’t win in three attempts for Guy Cherel in France, but he ran a massive race on his debut for Willie Mullins to finish third in the Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March. This was his first run since, so there is every chance that he will improve significantly for the experience. The handicapper raised him by 1lb to a mark of 135, which is just 3lb higher than his Fred Winter mark, and that is a mark that should be within range. But he is still a novice, he is still a maiden, so he has lots of options. By Authorized and out of a mare who stayed further than a mile and a half, he raced here as if he could appreciate a greater test of stamina than that presented by two miles at Fairyhouse, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

Fairyhouse, 1st December 2019