Horses To Follow » Sassy Yet Classy

Sassy Yet Classy

Sassy Yet Classy only finished eighth in the end in the WB Gavin Handicap Hurdle at Galway on Saturday, but she ran far better than that. A mistake at the second last flight ended all hope.

Gordon Elliott’s mare had travelled and jumped well up to that point, in mid-division in the main group behind breakaway leader Le Hachette. She moved up nicely at the end of the back straight, she travelled well down the hill on the outside, and she hit the front on the run to the second last flight. She got in tight to the obstacle, however, and lost her footing and with it all chance. After that, Denis O’Regan wisely just eased off on her, let her come up over the final flight and up the hill in her own time.

Of course, it is impossible to know how she would have fared had she not made that mistake, but she appeared to be travelling at least as well as Agent Boru and Bothar Dubh, who fought out the finish, and better than everything else. It is probable that she would have finished third at worst, and more than possible that she would have done better than that. This was her first run too since she won a mares’ handicap hurdle at Navan last February off a mark of 107, so she could come on for the run. The handicapper raised her by 8lb for that win, but she proved here that she was more than capable off her new mark of 115.

She wore cheekpieces for the first time that day, and she put up a career-best performance, and she wore them again on Saturday. It may be that she is an improved performer in cheekpieces, or it may be that, still only six, she is just progressing now. She goes well on goodish ground, but she proved at Navan in February, and again on Monday, that she can operate on soft and heavy ground too, and she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

Galway, 24th October 2020, ©, 26th October 2020