Horses To Follow » Massey’s Wood

Massey’s Wood

Massey’s Wood looked very good in winning the three-mile handicap chase at Down Royal on Saturday.

Starting off in mid-division and along the inside, Barry Connell’s horse jumped the first two fences really well, which took him up into a prominent position. He jumped into a clear lead over the fourth last fence, and he wasn’t headed after that.

His jumping impressed most. He took on his fences with real enthusiasm, he was very good when he was long and, even when he got in a little tight, he was fast and efficient and still seemed to gain ground. Challenged by the favourite Paranoid on the run to the second last fence, he picked up well for Mark Bolger, jumped the last two fences well and stayed on strongly up the run-in to win by four and a half lengths.

Massey’s Wood is eight now rising nine, but this was his seasonal debut, and it was just his fourth run over fences, so there is every chance that he can progress from this. He was well beaten in all three runs last season over fences but, while he was a good hurdler two seasons ago – he beat last season’s Ultima Chase winner and Ladbrokes Trophy runner-up The Conditional in a three-mile maiden hurdle at Thurles in February 2018 – he jumps his fences so well that he could make up into a much better chaser now.

The handicapper will have his say now, but he has the potential to improve as the season develops, and it is interesting that his owner/trainer mentioned the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival as a possibility. That type of jumping test at Leopardstown could suit him really well.

Down Royal, 31st October 2020, ©, 2nd November 2020