Horses To Follow » Bushypark


Bushypark put up a really impressive performance to win the Pertemps qualifier at Haydock on Saturday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Thomas Dowson, he was three lengths clear by the time they got around into the back straight and jumped the first flight, and he extended his lead as they raced down the back straight. The field closed up on him as they raced up the home straight first time, but he stretched them out again down the back straight final time. He led into the home straight, stretched on again on the run to the third last flight, flew that obstacle and kept on well over the last two flights, clearing away from the last and running out a really impressive winner in a good time.

This was a really likeable performance from a seriously progressive horse. Philip Kirby’s horse has now won his last five hurdle races over the course of the last three months, and he has progressed dramatically in that time. He won on his seasonal debut at Hexham in November over two and a half miles off a mark of 83, and he has now won his next four. He was well beaten at odds-on in a jumpers’ bumper at Newcastle on his last run before Saturday, but he came home lame that day, so you can easily allow him that. He resumed his progress here, proving that he was better even than the mark of 120 off which he raced.

The handicapper raised him by 12lb to a mark of 132, and that may still not be high enough to get him into the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham. Even so, he will be of interest in another stayers’ handicap hurdle now, before the ground gets too good. He did win over two and a half miles at Doncaster in December on good to soft ground, but he is probably at his best over three miles on soft or heavy ground.
Haydock, 20th February 2021