Horses To Follow » Fury Road

Fury Road

There was very little between Monkfish, Latest Exhibition and Fury Road at the end of the Albert Bartlett Hurdle and all three are potentially exciting staying novice chasers for next season, if that is the route that they go down. Of the three, however, it looks like Fury Road is the one who could be under-rated, possibly because he finished third of the three. But he was only beaten a neck and a nose, and he went through parts of the race like the best horse in it.

The Gigginstown House horse travelled like a classy horse through his race for Davy Russell. Well back in a well-packed field as they started down the hill, he was only eighth or ninth jumping the second last flight, he was immediately behind Monkfish and Latest Exhibition. He came under pressure as they raced around the home turn and, forced to challenge towards the far side, out towards the centre of the track and away from the favoured stands rail, he stayed on strongly up the hill. He probably hit the front half way up the run-in, but he had done a lot of running to get there, and he just wasn’t as strong as Monkfish was through the final 50 yards.

The Albert Bartlett Hurdle is often a good pointer to the following season’s RSA Chase, so all three horses are worth keeping in mind, as well as fourth-placed Thyme Hill, who was squeezed out of it a bit on the run to the final flight. But Fury Road redeemed his reputation here. Only fourth behind Latest Exhibition in a Grade 1 contest at Leopardstown on his previous run, Gordon Elliott’s horse proved here that he was well able to mix it at the highest level among the staying novice hurdlers. A point-to-point winner and a bumper winner, he could be an exciting staying novice chaser next season.

Cheltenham 13th March, 2020