Horses To Follow » Cedarwood Road

Cedarwood Road

Cedarwood Road put up a good performance to win the two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase at Gowran Park on Tuesday.

Antey set a good pace, Willie Mullins’ horse got into a good rhythm in front for Paul Townend, and he jumped well. Cedarwood Road quickly moved into the leader’s slipstream and he tracked him for two miles, with the rest of the field stretched out behind the front two. Derek O’Connor moved Cedarwood Road up on the stands side of Antey as they straightened up for home, and he was good at the third last fence, whereas Antey got in tight and landed awkwardly. That handed the lead to Gearoid O’Loughlin’s horse and, while Antey battled back well, it was a lead that he didn’t relinquish. They came together on the landing side of the final fence, but Cedarwood Road stayed on well up the run-in, and moved nicely ahead to win by almost three lengths in the end, with the first two finishing well clear of their rivals.

Cedarwood Road was a progressive novice hurdler last season. Winner of his maiden hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival last year, Chris Jones’ horse stepped forward from that next time when he showed a smart turn of foot to get up and beat Beacon Edge and Entoucas in a listed novice hurdle at Naas. Beaten on his chasing debut in Janadil’s beginners’ chase at Naas last November, he showed the benefit of that experience when he finished second to The Big Getaway in a good beginners’ chase at this year’s Christmas Festival at Leopardstown over two miles and five furlongs.

Tuesday’s performance was a step forward from that, in a beginners’ chase that has been won in the recent past by Spyglass Hill, Duc Des Genievres and Bachasson. His trainer mentioned the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse’s Easter meeting as a potential target now and, while it may be that he is better going left-handed, he is a progressive young chaser who is well worth his place in a Grade 1 contest.
Gowran Park, 2nd March 2021