Horses To Follow » Wakea


Wakea stayed on well to finish a close-up fourth in the two-mile-three-furlong handicap hurdle at Naas on Sunday. Held up and keen enough early on, he made good ground on the outside as they raced across the top of the course. He came under a ride from Jody McGarvey as they raced to the second last flight, and he got a little out-paced when they quickened, but he stayed on well from the final flight – where he was slightly hampered by Halsafari’s fall – to get up for fourth place. He was passed by the winner Jackson’s Gold on the run-in, and Big King probably idled when he got to the front, but it was still a fine performance by Karl Thornton’s horse to finish fourth, beaten a total of just over two lengths.

It was a nice step forward from his previous run, when he was pulled up in the Ladbrokes Hurdle. That was his first run in over three years, since he finished third behind Lil Rockerfeller in the Grade 2 Ascot Hurdle in November 2017. Connections have obviously been very patient with him, and that patience could be rewarded soon. There is every chance that he will come on again for this run and, a 100/1 shot here, it may be that he will still be under-rated. The handicapper raised him by 1lb to a mark of 134, and he is 10 now, but that mark is still 10lb lower than his peak, so he has at least a little bit of leeway.
Naas, 14th March 2021