Horses To Follow » Fifty Ball

Fifty Ball

Fifty Ball only got home by a head in the end in the second division of the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle, but he probably won with a lot more in hand than that. He travelled really well for Niall Houlihan through his race along the inside, he made nice progress up the side of the track, he moved easily behind the leader Scene Not Herd around the home turn, and he moved easily into the lead on the run to the second last flight. He was a little guessy there, he was long and he clipped the top of the hurdle and he landed a little awkwardly, but he quickly put two lengths between himself and his pursuers by the time they reached the final flight. He was challenged on the run-in by Straw Fan Jack, and that rival looked like a real danger, finishing off his race well towards the near side, probably on the best of the ground, but Fifty Ball battled back well on the far side to get home by a head.

It is probable that Gary Moore’s horse was idling when he hit the front. The manner in which he responded when challenged by Straw Fan Jack, added to the strength with which he appeared to travel through his race, suggests that he may have had a fair bit more to give. He raced seven times in bumpers in France, winning twice, but this was just his third run over hurdles for Gary Moore, and it was his first in a handicap. The handicapper raised him by 7lb for this, but he is only five, he has lots of potential for continued progression, so he could be able to cope with a hike of that magnitude. He has the potential to be better than a 120-rated horse. Also, his trainer said afterwards that soft ground suits him, so he could progress again as we move more deeply into the winter.

Ascot, 31st October 2020