Horses To Follow » Diol Ker

Diol Ker

Diol Ker was only just beaten by Sams Profile in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park on Thursday. Prominent from early, second behind early leader Mary Frances, Noel Meade’s horse travelled best of all to the home turn up on the outside of the leader. He came under pressure on the run to the second last flight as his stable companion Sixshooter came up on his outside, but he found plenty for pressure. He hit the front briefly on the run between the final two flights before Sams Profile headed him on the run to the last. He battled back well though on the attritional ground after he had been headed. Switched to his left on the run-in, he came back at Sams Profile and got to within a half a length of him by the time they got to the winning line.

It was a big performance by Sams Profile, to come back and win a Galmoy Hurdle, but it was a big run too by Diol Ker to get as close to him as he did, with the pair of them pulling well clear of Sixshooter in third. And it was interesting that Sean Flanagan chose to ride Diol Ker in front of Sixshooter, despite the fact that the other Noel Meade representative was shorter in the market.

A point-to-point winner, Diol Ker got off the mark on his fourth attempt over hurdles, staying on strongly to beat Monkfish and Escaria Ten in a two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse in November 2019. He didn’t run again after that until he made his chasing bow in a hot beginners’ chase at Galway in October, which was won by subsequent Grade 2 winner Pencilfulloflead, with Thyestes Chase winner Coko Beach finishing second. Sent off as favourite for that race, he got no further than the fifth fence, and he was beaten on his next two runs over fences. He got back on track over hurdles though, at Limerick’s Christmas Festival, when he stayed on well to get back up and beat Born By The Sea over two and a half miles, off an unsuitably slow pace and over a distance that should have been shorter than ideal for him. He stepped forward from that again on Thursday, stepped up to three miles and fitted with cheekpieces for the first time.

It appears that the plan for the Gigginstown House horse is to remain over hurdles now, with the Stayers’ Hurdle a likely target, and he could be a little under the radar still. He will be of interest in any or all of the good staying hurdles at the spring festivals.
Gowran Park, 28th January 2021