Horses To Follow » Barbary Master

Barbary Master

Barbary Master ran a fine race to finish third behind Eskylane in the opening two-mile maiden hurdle at Punchestown on Wednesday. Prominent from early, his jumping wasn’t overly fluent throughout, he got in tight to a few of his obstacles, but he still travelled well for Sean Flanagan out of the back straight in the leading group of six, and he moved up nicely on the outside on the run to the second last flight. He came under pressure on landing over that obstacle, but he picked up as they raced around the home turn, and he stayed on well over the last and up the run-in to take third place, just five lengths behind the winner.

This looked like a good maiden hurdle. The winner, Eskylane, finished fifth in the Champion Bumper and Cheltenham in March, and he clocked a time here that was eight seconds faster than the time that Wait Here clocked in winning the handicap hurdle that followed. Barbary Master stayed on well to win his bumper on heavy ground at Navan in March, and he shaped here as if he would benefit from a step up in trip. From the family of stayers Jet Boys and Wild Venture and Shot Of The Day and Ithastobedone, he could improve for a step up to two and a half miles now, and/or for the move to more testing ground. Trainer Noel Meade has his horses in tremendous form these days, and Barbary Master should be winning his maiden hurdle soon before stepping up in class. The Presenting gelding is really lightly raced, he had run in just one point-to-point and two bumpers before this, so he has bags of scope for progression.

Punchestown, 14th October 2020, ©, 19th October 2020