Horses To Follow » HTF – Ireland


Lugnaquilla did well to finish second to Shamiyna in the 11-furlong fillies’ maiden at Killarney on Wednesday. Settled back towards the rear of the field early on by Gavin Ryan, she was just a little keen on the run down the back straight, which wasn’t ideal on the soft ground. Last of the 10 runners as they left the back straight, she made ground on the near side in the home straight to move in behind the leaders. It never really looked like she was going to get to Shamiyna, but she stayed on well to take second place from Zero Turn, with the first three nicely clear.

This was a nice step forward by Donnacha O’Brien’s filly from her racecourse debut at Leopardstown. She had Shamiyna one and a half lengths and two places ahead of her that day too, when she kept on well to take fourth place behind Ennistymon, who finished second in the Ribblesdale Stakes next time and then went on to finish second in the Oaks.

Lugnaquilla is a well-bred filly, a full-sister to Cliffs Of Moher, by Galileo and out of Wave, a sister to Henrythenavigator. She should progress from this, and she should do better again when she gets back on better ground.

Killarney, 19th August 2020


Bolivar did well to win the 11-furlong conditions’ race at Killarney on Wednesday. He ran fairly wide around the turn past the stands, but he travelled well down the back straight, and he picked up well to hit the front early in the home straight. He was stalked through though by Tasalka, who appeared to be travelling better, and who was delivered by Dylan Brown McMonagle on the stands side, a side which appeared to be favoured all day. Dermot Weld’s filly traded at long odds-on in-running, but Bolivar battled back bravely on the far side to get back up and win by a neck.

It was a game performance by Paddy Twomey’s horse. It wasn’t ideal that he gave away ground at the turn past the stands, but he travelled well, and he battled back well for Wayne Lordan after he had been passed, with the front two finishing nicely clear of their rivals. It was just Bolivar’s third run. He made all the running to win his maiden impressively on his previous run, over 10 furlongs on soft ground at Roscommon.

This was a step up in grade, he handled it well, and he proved that he didn’t have to lead. He obviously handles soft ground well, but he handled good ground too on his racecourse debut at Leopardstown. He saw out this trip well, he should stay a mile and a half at least, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

Killarney, 19th August 2020

Dazzling Spirit

Dazzling Spirit did well in the circumstances on her racecourse debut at Leopardstown on Thursday. She missed the break, she stumbled after they had gone a couple of strides, she lost ground and all momentum, and she was fully six or seven lengths behind the second last horse after they had gone a hundred yards.

Colin Keane allowed her time to find her rhythm though and she gradually closed up so that she was up into a dispute of last place with Bohenie as they left the back straight. She actually travelled well from there to the home turn and it looked like she might take a hand in the finish as she picked up at the two-furlong pole, but she had done a lot of running to get to that point, and her run flattened out. She finished fourth in the end, six lengths behind the winner Cosmic Vega, but beaten only a half a length for third by Song Of Peace.

It was a most encouraging run by Tom Mullins’ filly on her racecourse debut. She was the outsider of six, all newcomers in the race, and she was the only filly in the race, but she out-performed market expectations by a fair way. A half-sister to Tom Mullins’ mare Powersville, a five-time winner over five furlongs and six furlongs, and to They Seek Him Here, a winner over seven furlongs for Hugo Palmer, the Fulbright filly will be of interest again in another maiden.

Leopardstown, 20th August 2020

Robin Des Foret

Some were more inconvenienced than others in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap chase at Killarney on Saturday by the two false starts. Kupatana did well to keep on as well as she did to finish fourth, she is a free-going mare who had to have expended plenty of energy before the race started. But Robin Des Foret also did well to finish second. Willie Mullins’ horse was travelling and jumping well in rear for Paul Townend when he was fairly badly hampered by the fall of Fine Brunello at the fence just past the stands. That incident checked his momentum and knocked him back to last place.

His rider gave him a couple of fences to allow him recover his rhythm, and he travelled well into the home straight but he was crowded out of it again a bit on the run to the second last. He picked up well though, he joined the front rank on the run to the last, but he just couldn’t fend off Mortal’s challenge on the run-in.

Robin Des Foret doesn’t win as often as he should, but he remains a talented individual who usually travels well through his races. He is 10 now, and he hasn’t won since he won a novices’ chase at the 2018 Listowel Festival, but he won that race well, he stayed on well from the second last fence to come away from his main rival. That is his only run at Listowel to date, he is one for one at the track, and he will be of interest if he goes back to the Listowel Festival next month.

Killarney, 22nd August 2020

Measure Of Magic

Measure Of Magic ran better than the bare form of her run in the inaugural running of the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes suggests at Naas on Sunday. Fast away on the far side, Johnny Murtagh’s filly showed lots of pace, she travelled well through her race for Danny Sheehy and she led until inside the final furlong. She just tired close home, dropping from third to sixth inside the final 100 yards.

The Kodi Bear filly did best of those horses who were drawn low on a day on which it was probably an advantage to race towards the stands side in the home straight. Also, this was her first attempt at six furlongs, at a track and on ground on which her stamina was probably stretched. She beat the third horse here Mooeista when she won her maiden at Tipperary in June, and she beat last week’s Lowther Stakes winner Miss Amulet when she won at Down Royal in July.

She got close to Miss Amulet too and to Frenetic when she finished third in the Listed Marwell Stakes at Naas earlier this month. She is a talented and pacey filly who will probably be seen to better effect over an easier six furlongs or when she drops back down again to five.

Naas, 23rd August 2020

©, 24th August 2020