Horses To Follow » HTF – Ireland


Moyross put up a really encouraging performance on his comeback run to finish third in the three-mile beginners’ chase at Kilbeggan on Monday. He was weak in the market beforehand, but he travelled and jumped well throughout for Denis O’Regan. Prominent from flagfall, he moved to the front as they set off down the back straight first time. His jumping was good, he got into a nice rhythm in front and he led all the way to the second last fence. He just tired from there, as the two Gigginstown House horses Royal Thief and Battle Of Midway moved on to battle it out, but he kept on well enough to hold off Braeside for third place.

It was a really nice comeback run by Noel Meade’s horse. He hadn’t raced since he finished down the field in a handicap hurdle at the 2019 Punchestown Festival, and he hadn’t run over fences since he finished fourth of five in Delta Work’s beginners’ chase at Down Royal in November 2018. He was entitled to get tired late on. He is nine years old now, but he is lightly raced for his age and he should be able to build on this. He is obviously still a novice but he could also be of interest in staying handicap chases.

Kilbeggan, 12th October 2020


Arverne did well to finish second to Deadheat in the three-mile handicap chase at Punchestown on Tuesday. Gavin Cromwell’s horse travelled well in rear early on, but he made mistakes at two of the fences down the side of the track, which left him last of the seven runners as they started down the back straight. He jumped better down that part of the track, he travelled up nicely on the outside between the fourth last and third last fences, and he moved up on the outside of Deadheat as they rounded the home turn. He couldn’t get to the winner, who had travelled and jumped well through his race and who ran out a nice winner, but he kept on well to retain the runner-up spot.

This race was weakened by the defection of Chavi Artist, but there was still plenty to like about Arverne’s performance. Deadheat is a progressive horse who had race fitness on his side, he had finished second to Rudy Catrail on his previous run at Listowel, form that was given a nice boost the previous day, while Averne hadn’t run since last March. A winner over hurdles in France, JP McManus’ horse didn’t win in five runs over fences last season, all over two miles, but he probably put up his best chasing performance last season on his last run, when he finished fourth in a novices’ handicap chase at Wexford in March. Out of a half-sister to Theligny, who has won over three miles over fences, he stayed three miles well here and, still only five, he has plenty of potential to progress now over staying distances.

Punchestown, 13th October 2020

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


Psyche ran better than the bare form of the run suggests in finishing fourth in the 12-furlong handicap at Dundalk on Friday evening. Settled nicely towards the rear of the field early on by Shane Foley, it wasn’t ideal for Jessica Harrington’s horse that the early pace was not fast. Simon Torrens set steady fractions on Construct, with Colin Keane on Ela Katrina and Kevin Manning on Paso Doble happy to sit just behind the leader, and those three horses occupied the first three places from start to finish. Ela Katrina was a good winner, she travelled well into the race and she showed a good turn of foot on the run to the furlong marker, but Psyche did well to stay on as well as he did to take fourth place behind her. He did best of the horses who were held up.

This was Psyche’s first foray behind a mile, he won his maiden over a mile at Dundalk last November, and he hadn’t gone beyond that distance since, but he seemed to stay a mile and a half here well. He is from a top class Niarchos family that is replete with milers, but his dam, Ode To Psyche, won her maiden over a mile and a half, and it could be a good trip for her son now. He has raced just six times, so he is still unexposed over middle distances.

Dundalk, 16th October 2020

Foxy Jacks

Foxy Jacks was sent off at a short price for the two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase at Cork on Sunday after Coko Beach had defected, but he could hardly have been any more impressive than he was in winning it. It was his jumping that impressed most, he was fast and fluent throughout. He raced in second place behind early leader The Inbetween, but his jumping took him closer to the leader down the back straight. He jumped up on the outside over the cross-fence, the fourth last, ranged up alongside the leader at the third last as rider Philip Enright had a look around him for dangers, jumped on over the second last and eased clear over the last to record a facile victory.

It was a really nice performance by Mouse Morris’ horse. He was a nicely progressive novice hurdler last season, but he shapes as if he will be an even better chaser. He did unseat his rider on his chasing debut, at the third fence in a beginners’ chase at Limerick, but he had jumped the first two fences well, he just got in tight to the third, and he put that error behind him here. He is only six, he should be able to progress from this, and he could do even better stepped up to three miles.

Cork, 18th October 2020

©, 19th October 2020