Horses To Follow » Ontheropes


Ontheropes is not under the radar, he was an impressive winner of the Munster National at Limerick on Sunday, but there is an awful lot to like about him, and he is a horse who still has the potential to go beyond his new handicap mark. He couldn’t have been much more impressive than he was on Sunday. He pecked a little on landing over the first fence but, after that, he was very good. Never far off the pace, he jumped his way up to the leaders down the back straight final time. He moved up in between the two leaders Spyglass Hill and Fairyhill Run as they rounded the home turn, he moved to the front on the run to the second last fence, and he kept on well over the last two fences to get home by just over two lengths from A Wave Of The Sea, the pair of them clear, leaving the impression that he had a fair bit more in hand than the bare winning margin.

The handicapper raised him by 11lb for that win to a mark of 152, which is a decent hike, but he has the potential to progress to be at least as good as that mark, and possibly better. He is only seven and Sunday’s run was his seasonal debut and just his seventh run in a chase. Willie Mullins’ horse raced just once last season, in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse in November, when he finished second to his stable companion Monkfish. It never really looked like he was going to beat Monkfish that day, but he travelled really well into his race, he only came off the bridle at the second last fence, and he went down by just four lengths to Monkfish, last season’s Brown Advisory Chase winner and a horse who was high in the betting for this season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup before he was regrettably ruled out for the season. It may be that the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury next month will be a good race now for Ontheropes, a race that his erstwhile stable companion Total Recall won in 2017, off a handicap rating that was 18lb higher than the mark off which he won the Munster National two months earlier. Ontheropes could be more than capable off his new inflated mark, and there is a chance that he can improve to be even better than a handicapper.
Limerick, 10th October 2021