Horses To Follow » Donacheady Gale

Donacheady Gale

Donacheady Gale ran out an easy winner in the end of the opening maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe on Monday evening.

The market was dominated by Irish Poseidon and Gamin Original, and those two disputed the lead over the first flight before Gamin Original went on at a good pace, with Irish Poseidon in second and the field stretched out behind them.

Donacheady Gale actually made a bad mistake at the first flight, he was high over it, he almost over-jumped, and he nodded badly on landing, and Robbie Power did well to remain on board. He wasn’t great at the second flight either, but his jumping did warm up and he made ground to move into fifth place as they raced down the back straight final time. He still had about 12 lengths to find with the leaders as they left the back straight with three furlongs to run and one flight to jump, and it didn’t appear as if he was travelling as well as the two leaders, but they had gone hard up front, and he stayed on really well from the two-furlong marker. He moved into second place past the weakening Gamin Original on the run to the final flight and, while he didn’t jump the last that well, it didn’t really matter. He caught Irish Poseidon 200 yards from home and he stayed on strongly to come over five lengths clear of that rival, with another 11 lengths back to the third horse.

This was a really likeable performance by John Ryan’s horse on this, his debut over hurdles and his first run since September 2019 when he finished third in a Listowel bumper. He was sent off as favourite for that bumper, but he wasn’t beaten far, and the form of his win in another bumper on his racecourse debut at Down Royal is working out well, when he had previous bumper winner Centaur and subsequent dual winner on the flat and over hurdles Sneaky Getaway behind him in second and third. It is possible that the Kalanisi gelding was flattered by the magnitude of his victory on Monday, given that the early pace was strong and that he came from well back, but it may be that he was the best horse in the race on the day anyway. And the winning time was really good, it was the fastest by far of the four races run over the course and distance on the evening, over seven seconds faster than the next fastest.

Trainer John Ryan was very positive about him afterwards too, he said that he was only about 80% fit. He has obviously had his issues, a tendon injury has reportedly kept him off the track since that Listowel race, but hopefully his trainer will have a good run with him now, because he obviously has talent, and he will be of interest wherever he goes now. It may be, though, that this soft ground is important to him, but he could be fine on soft summer ground.

Ballinrobe, 24th May 2021