Horses To Follow » HTF – Ireland

Heaven Help Us

Heaven Help Us was impressive in winning the two-mile mares’ beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Her task was made easier than it might have been by the departure of Jeremys Flame at the first fence, but Paul Hennessy’s mare was quickly into a nice rhythm for David Mullins. She settled nicely into second place behind Misty Millie as they raced down the side of the track. She jumped well down the back straight, moved into a clear lead on the run to the home turn, and stayed on well from the second last fence. David Mullins steadied her on the run to the final fence, and Surin and Reine Fee closed on her a little, but she appeared to win with plenty in hand.

This was a nice step forward from her chasing bow at Sligo last month. Her jumping was better here, and that was key. She was a good novice hurdler last season, she sprang a 33/1 surprise when she won her maiden hurdle at Cheltenham’s October meeting last year, and she finished second behind Abacadabras in the Grade 1 novices’ hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival last year. She is only six and she should be able to continue her progression now over fences.

Fairyhouse, 10th October 2020

Tokyo Getaway

Tokyo Getaway stayed on well to take third place in the three-mile handicap hurdle at Limerick on Sunday.

Held up early on by Conor Maxwell, she came under pressure as the pace quickened on the run to the end of the back straight final time. Only 12th of the 14 runners as they left the back straight, she made some ground as they raced around the home turn, and she stayed on well over the last two flights to just get up and take third place behind Ballinaboola Steel and Ask Heather.

It was a good run by Gavin Cromwell’s mare on her first run since last March. She was in great form last season, she won twice and finished second twice in four runs between November and February, before finishing well down the field in a handicap chase at Navan in March. This was a really nice start to the 2020/21 campaign, she obviously retains all of her ability, and there is every chance that she can progress from this. She can be competitive in handciap hurdles off this mark of 118 but, a point-to-point winner, it may be that she will be an even better chaser. She is lightly raced over both hurdles and fences, and she is only six, so she has plenty of potential for progression this season.

Limerick, 11th October 2020


Ificudiwud only finished fifth in the end in the two-mile-six-furlong beginners’ chase at Limerick on Sunday, beaten a total of 22 lengths, but he ran a fair bit better than the bare form suggests. Prominent from early, he moved into a definite lead as they jumped the second last fence in the home straight first time. He settled into a nice rhythm for Sean Flanagan after that, and his jumping down the back straight was good. He was good when he was long and he was able to go in and pop when he was short. He made a mistake at the third last fence as he tired, and he ceded the lead to Run Wild Fred as they straightened up for home. He tired from there, but they had gone hard from early, as evidenced by the fact that Run Wild Fred, who had also raced handily, was passed by Home By The Lee and Ministerforsport on the run-in.

Ificudiwud was one of four runners in this beginners’ chase who were having their first run over fences on their respective seasonal debuts, so it will be interesting to see how they all progress from here. Noel Meade’s horse hadn’t run since he unseated his rider after the final flight in a handicap hurdle at Naas in March. That was just his second run last spring, he was a progressive hurdler in the summer of 2019 on summer ground, but he won his maiden hurdle on soft ground and he won a handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse last February on heavy, so he should handle winter ground well. Rated 123 over hurdles, he won his only point-to-point and he jumped his fences well here, so he has the potential to go even higher over fences. He could improve too for a step up to three miles.

Limerick, 11th October 2020

Portmore Lough

Portmore Lough did remarkably well to finish second to Aforementioned in the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick on Sunday. John Kiely’s horse was all but brought down at the first fence when Doctor Duffy fell in front of him. He was knocked back from a good position, just behind the front rank, to the rear of the field. The horse did well to stand up, and rider Simon Torrens did really well to keep the partnership intact. As it was, he lost his irons, he had to jump the second fence without them and, by the time he recovered his equilibrium, he was last of the remaining 15 runners, all of 20 lengths behind the leader.

JP McManus’ horse gradually got back into his rhythm and attached himself to the rear of the field. His jumping was good too in the main, he jumped the five fences in the back straight final time well, which took him up through the field – thinned out too by fallers – into the leading group of six that broke away from the field as they rounded the home turn. He was the first of the sextet to come under pressure, but he responded well and, actually, as they raced around the by-passed second last fence, he arrived there as a real threat to Aforementioned. The leader stretched away on the run-in, but Portmore Lough kept on well all the way to the line to finish second, just two and a half lengths behind the winner and over six lengths clear of the third-placed Westerner Point.

Portmore Lough is nine years old now, but he is still relatively lightly raced, he has run just 10 times over fences. He ran a big race to finish third in the Troytown Chase at Navan last November, and that looks like an ideal target for him now. He stays well, he handles soft ground well, he obviously goes well at Navan, and he is now rated 130, 1lb lower than the mark off which he finished third behind Chris’s Dream in last year’s Troytown.

Limerick, 11th October 2020

Raise You

Raise You ran well for a long way in the Group 3 Novi IT Services International Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. Held up by Shane Crosse, he was a little keener than ideal early on, but he settled better after they had gone a couple of furlongs, and he travelled well along the inside into the home straight. Moved towards the outside as they rounded the home turn, he travelled well to the two-furlong marker, but he had no answer when Helvic Dream quickened up on his outside. He couldn’t get past Up Helly Aa for second place either, but he kept on well to take third place, over seven lengths clear of Sonnyboyliston in fourth.

The Lope De Vega colt was well beaten in a listed race at The Curragh in June on his first run for Joseph O’Brien, but this was much more like it. A dual winner for Andrew Balding last year, he handled heavy ground well on his final run in Britain when he finished third behind Addeybb in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock last August, and he handled the soft ground well on Sunday. That gives his trainer options for the remainder of the season, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

The Curragh, 11th October 2020

©, 12th October 2020