Horses To Follow » Top Bandit

Top Bandit

Top Bandit probably won the two-mile rated hurdle at Punchestown with more in hand than the bare winning margin. Nicely strong in the market beforehand, he travelled well through his race for Davy Russell, as is his wont. He moved up well on the run into the home straight, he took it up from Dark Spark on the run to the final flight, and he found enough on the run-in to win cosily enough. He only won by two and a half lengths in the end from Sit Down Lucy, but he left the impression that he was idling on the run-in, that he had plenty more left to give if more had been required.

Runner-up in each of his first three bumpers last season, Gordon Elliott’s horse got off the mark in a weak contest at Downpatrick in September, before being sent over hurdles, and winning his maiden hurdle at Cheltenham’s October meeting on his second attempt, a maiden hurdle that has been won in the past by Thomas Darby and Heaven Help Us. By Kayf Tara and out of a mare who won over hurdles, and a half-brother to Spirit Of Shankly, who reached a rating of 140 over hurdles, Top Bandit is progressing nicely now. He is only five and this was just his third run over hurdles, and he should be able to continue to progress now. The handicapper raised him by 9lb for this win to a mark of 128, but he would still ne interesting in a good handicap hurdle off that type of mark. It is interesting that his trainer thought enough of him to give him an entry in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Hurdle.
Punchestown, 13th November 2021