Horses To Follow » Blue Lord

Blue Lord

Blue Lord was beaten by Bob Olinger in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday, but the winner has always been really highly regarded, and there was plenty to like about the performance that Blue Lord put up in chasing him home.

Willie Mullins’ horse raced more keenly than ideal for much of the race. He was keen as they raced down the back straight, racing in second place behind Gabynako, and he was still keen as they raced to the home turn. Moved up on the outside of Gabynako on the run to the second last flight, he and Bob Olinger went on together at that point and, while the winner led on the run to the last and stayed on well up the run-in to come clear, Blue Lord kept on well himself to retain second place, two lengths ahead of Gabynako in third.

This is a race that has been won by Envoi Allen and Battleoverdoyen and Next Destination and Rule The World in the past, and this year’s renewal looked well up to standard. While some of the interest was removed from the race by Ashdale Bob’s departure at the second flight, it still looked like a strong race. Bob Olinger is potentially top class, and impressive maiden winners Gabynako and Flanking Maneuver were both strong in the pre-race market. Blue Lord had been impressive himself in winning his maiden at Punchestown in November over two miles. Willie Mullins’ horse is bred to get further than the minimum trip, and he raced over two miles on his hurdling debut as if he would do even better when he stepped up in trip. He just didn’t settle here, and that obviously took its toll in the closing stages of the race. If he can settle better next time, perhaps with the addition of a hood or the implementation of extreme hold-up tactics, he could improve significantly on the bare form of this run. He retains bags of potential.
Naas, 13th January 2021