Horses To Follow » Steer Clear

Steer Clear

Steer Clear put up a really nice performance to win the rated novices’ chase at Leopardstown on Sunday. Mark Walsh appeared to be intent on getting to the front on Padraig Roche’s horse and, while he was a little to his right over the first and second fences, the Flemensfirth gelding settled into a nice racing and jumping rhythm.
He jumped well down the back straight and, while the challengers assembled around him as they raced around the by-passed second last fence, Mark Walsh always looked happy. He gave his horse a squeeze before the last, he jumped that obstacle well, and he kept on well up the run-in to come seven lengths clear of the well-backed runner-up Hesamanofhisword, leaving the impression that he probably had more in hand than that.

It was a really likeable performance from JP McManus’ horse. Zero for four over hurdles, he was beaten too in each of his first nine chases, but he went close on two occasions, and he got off the mark over fences on his debut this season, when he kept on well to win a handicap chase at Thurles in October. He raced off a mark of 107 that day, the handicapper raised him by 6lb to a mark of 113 and, after unseating his rider early back at Thurles two weeks later, he proved on Sunday that he was well up to that mark. The handicapper raised him by another 10lb to a mark of 123, but it appeared that he won with plenty in hand, and he could go beyond that mark now. He does go well on this goodish ground, and he will be of interest wherever he goes now.
Leopardstown, 7th March 2021