Horses To Follow » Band Of Outlaws

Band Of Outlaws

Band Of Outlaws ran really well on his comeback run to finish third behind Pepperoni Pete and Starting Monday in the one-mile handicap at Naas on Sunday.

Settled back in the field early on by Wayne Lordan from his inside draw, he travelled well at the rear of the field, and he started to make nice ground from the three-furlong marker. He remained over towards the far side in the home straight as the leader Starting Monday came towards the stands side, as did ultimate winner Pepperoni Pete, but Joseph O’Brien’s horse still stayed on well on the far side to get up for third place in front of Roca Roma, who also raced towards the near side until he started to hang to his left inside the final furlong. In the end, Band Of Outlaws was beaten a total of just over two lengths.

It was a really pleasing return to action by JP McManus’ horse. This was his first run since he finished third behind Tudor City and Due Reward when he was sent off as joint favourite for the 2019 Galway Hurdle, and he hadn’t run on the flat since he finished fourth behind Insignia Of Rank in a handicap at Tipperary as a three-year-old in October 2018. In the meantime, he has won three races over hurdles, including the Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and he finished third in that Galway Hurdle and, on this evidence, he obviously retains lots of ability.

The handicapper raised him by just 1lb for this run to a mark of 89, and that is a mark that could under-estimate him considerably. He reached a peak rating of 94 on the flat, and he is rated 145 over hurdles so, if you take a 45lb differential between hurdles ratings and flat ratings as a broad barometer, that gives him lots of leeway. This one-mile trip looks like a good trip for him on the flat, a fast-run race suits him well, and he will be of interest in another good one-mile handicap on the flat now, ideally on ground that is not too fast. The Colm Quinn BMW Mile at Galway could be a possible target for him now, a mark of 89 should see him get into the race on a nice racing weight, a race in which he stayed on well to finish eighth in 2018, beaten just over three lengths. In the meantime, the one-mile Premier Handicap on Irish Derby weekend at The Curragh, a race that he won as a three-year-old in 2018, would be a good target for him.
Naas, 16th May 2021