Horses To Follow » Screaming Colours

Screaming Colours

Screaming Colours ran another big race to finish second to The Big Dog in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown on Sunday. Racing towards the rear of the field from early, his jumping wasn’t overly fast, but it was safe in the main, with the exception of the fence before the home turn first time, where he got in tight and hit it. Moved towards the outside by Conor Orr with a circuit to go, he made steady progress down the back straight final time, moved into fifth place as they left the back straight, and moved into second place behind The Big Dog as they straightened up for home. He jumped the last upsides the winner, and he actually went a neck or a half a length up on the run-in before The Big Dog battled back and got up and beat him by a half a length.

It was another big run by Bill Durkan’s horse in a staying handicap chase. Winner of his beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse in April 2018, he was off the track for almost two years before he won a point-to-point at Oldtown in February last year. He won a three-mile handicap chase at Punchestown off a mark of 118 on his debut this season, and he has now finished second in all three runs since. He shaped as if three miles and one furlong was on the sharp side for him in his two previous runs, and he stayed three and a half miles well here. The Big Dog probably had more in hand than the bare winning margin, he may have been idling on the run-in, but Peter Fahey’s horse is a talented and progressive staying chaser, and Screaming Colours finished nicely clear of the rest of his rivals.

The Dubai Destination gelding is 10 now, and he is creeping up the handicap, but he is a lightly-raced 10-year-old, and a 3lb hike for this run was not harsh. He shapes as if he could do even better in a more extreme test. His rating of 131 probably isn’t high enough to get him into the Irish Grand National, and the Eider Chase probably comes up a little too quickly, but he would be of interest in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter or the Scottish Grand National at Ayr should connections choose to aim at either of those races.
Punchestown, 14th February 2021