Horses To Follow » Rocky’s Silver

Rocky’s Silver

Rocky’s Silver put up a fine performance to finish second in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National on Sunday.

Starting off towards the rear of the field, he had moved into mid-division by the time they passed the winning post with a circuit to run. He continued to make good progress up the back straight final time, and he travelled well just behind the front rank as they left the back straight. A mistake at the fourth last fence checked his momentum a bit, and Conor Orr had to ride him along as they rounded the home turn. No better than seventh at that point, he had progressed to be within range when they jumped the third last fence, and he continued to keep on, he jumped the second last in second place behind the ultimate winner Dromore Lad. From there, he couldn’t go with the winner, who stayed on well to win nicely, but he kept on admirably on the far side, probably on the worst of the ground, to finish a clear second.

Winner of two of his four chases last season, Rocky’s Silver had been pulled up in his final two races last term. But James Dullea’s horse had run well on his seasonal return in a handicap hurdle at Tipperary 11 days earlier, and this was probably a career-best effort. He should be able to build on this too, he is only seven and he could progress this term as a staying chaser. He stays well, and he handles soft ground well, and he will be of interest in any of the good staying handicap chases during the winter. His best runs over fences to date have been at right-handed tracks though, Limerick and Punchestown and now Cork, and he does tend to jump a little to his right, so it may be that he continues to be at his best going right-handed.

Cork, 1st November 2020, ©, 2nd November 2020