Horses To Follow » No Grey Area’s

No Grey Area’s

No Grey Area’s only finished fourth in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Thurles on Wednesday, but he ran better than the bare form of the run suggests.

Settled nicely towards the rear of the field early on and towards the inside, Martin Hassett’s horse travelled well through his race for Pa King. He was just starting to make his ground when a mistake at the final flight in the back straight checked his forward momentum. He got caught in behind horses then as they raced towards the end of the back straight. No better than ninth of the 10 runners as they raced out of the back straight, he made progress across the top of the track, and he moved into fifth place as they levelled up for home. He looked a threat at that point, but he tired on the run to the last, and he just kept on from there to take fourth place behind Blanketontheground.

This was a race in which, as things panned out, it was probably an advantage to race prominently. The first three home, the three horses who finished in front of No Grey Area’s, occupied three of the first five places from early, they were first, second and third as they raced to the end of the back straight, and they all raced a little wide. By contrast, No Grey Area’s raced in rear. Also, that mistake at the final flight in the back straight halted his progress at a crucial time in the race when he probably needed to get closer to the leaders. He had to do a lot of running just to recover his position.

He had beaten the winner of Wednesday’s race, Blanketontheground, in a rated novices’ hurdle at Limerick on his previous run. That race panned out better for him and he won nicely under a fine hold-up ride by Pa King, who delivered him with a well-timed challenge to hit the front on the run-in. Wednesday’s race panned out differently however, with the prominent racers doing best. He was 10lb worse off with Blanketontheground on Wednesday, including riders’ claims, but he was still entitled to finish closer to her than he did.

Martin Hassett’s horse remains of interest. The handicapper raised him by 8lb for his Limerick win, but he will still be of interest in a handicap off his mark of 115. He is only six and he has raced just seven times over hurdles. He goes well on heavy ground, and he still has the potential to go beyond his mark of 115.
Thurles, 27th January 2021