Horses To Follow » Doctor Duffy

Doctor Duffy

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Doctor Duffy in the McHale Mayo National at Ballinrobe on Sunday, but he ran out an impressive winner in the end. He started off in the front rank, but a slight mistake at the first fence saw him shuffled back to seventh place as they raced up the home straight first time. He made a mistake at the last fence on the first circuit too, and it looked like he wasn’t really travelling after that, but he moved up on the inside as they raced down the back straight, and he had manoeuvred his way to the front by the time they raced up the home straight for the second time. After that, it was all more straightforward. He jumped well in front for Kevin Brouder, he travelled well, he stretched his field out, and he stayed on well from the second last fence to win nicely from Chavi Artist, who himself stayed on nicely to take the runner-up spot.

Charles Byrnes’ horse is a talented individual who probably hasn’t won as often over hurdles as his talent suggested he should, but he is finding his range over fences now. Second in two of his first three chases, he was impressive in winning his beginners’ chase on his fourth attempt at Kilbeggan in early August. He wore a visor for the first time that day, and he raced prominently from early, a combination that obviously appears to suit him well at this juncture.

His trainer mentioned the Kerry National as a potential target now, and he will be of interest if he lines up in that. He will obviously be raised by the handicapper for this victory, but he was racing on Sunday off a mark of 135, 2lb lower than his hurdles mark, and he is a seven-year-old who has raced just five times over fences, so he has the potential to continue to improve. Charles Byrnes sent out Alfa Beat to win the Kerry National in 2010, so he knows what is required.

Ballinrobe, 6th September 2020

©, 7th September 2020