Horses To Follow » Palace Rock

Palace Rock

There was a lot to like about the performance that Palace Rock put up in winning the opening maiden hurdle at Navan on Saturday. He was keen early on, and he wasn’t great over his hurdles as a result. He got in tight to the first two flights and, while he was better at the third, he still raced keenly in third place in a well stretched-out field all the way around into the back straight. He made another mistake at the final flight in the back straight, but he still travelled well out of the back straight and into the home straight. He moved to the front at the second last flight and, still displaying signs of greenness, he made a mistake at the final flight, which gave his challenger Boothen Boy a chance. But he picked up well once Denis O’Regan gave him a squeeze, coming away on the run-in to win impressively.

This was Palace Rock’s hurdling debut, and it was just his fourth run under all codes. Second in a maiden at Dundalk in December, Francis Casey’s horse was impressive in winning his maiden back at Dundalk last month over a mile and a half. Given a flat rating of 81 by the handicapper, he is a horse who could progress over hurdles now. He is from a good family, his dam Fingal Rock won twice on the flat and won a Grade 3 race over hurdles for Peter Casey, and she is a half sister to Cool Touch and Our Dougal and Palace Star, who won a McDonogh Handicap on the flat at Galway. He will be of interest again now, stepped up in grade over hurdles.
Navan, 6th March 2021