Horses To Follow » Embrun Mitja

Embrun Mitja

Embrun Mitja gave it a really good go from the front in the two-mile-three-furlong beginners’ chase at Naas on Thursday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Mike O’Connor, his jumping was very good in the main, he seemed to enjoy himself out in front, and he travelled well down the back straight and into the home straight. His rivals assembled behind him as they turned for home, but he went on again on the run to the second last fence, still travelling well, and he picked up well when his rider asked him for his effort on the run to the last. He nodded a little on landing over the last, which obviously didn’t help, but he had favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil, who raced up the stands rail, held, and he looked set for victory, before Capodanno finished off his race strongly to get up and beat him by just over a length.

It was a big performance by Capodanno, to finish off his race as strongly as he did, having made a bad mistake at the second last fence, and he deservedly gained the accolades, but the performance that Embrun Mitja put up in finishing second might go a little under the radar as a result. A winner over two miles on the flat in France, Henry de Bromhead’s horse won the maiden hurdle on Thursday’s card three years ago on his debut over hurdles. He has obviously had his issues, he was off the track for over two years after he finished third in a novices’ handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse in April 2019, but he didn’t run badly behind Gabynako and Fury Road on his first run back in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse in November, and Thursday’s run was a nice step forward from that. The two Willie Mullins horses that he split on Thursday, Capodanno and Gaillard Du Mesnil, have hurdles ratings of 147 and 150 respectively, so it was a fair performance by the Gigginstown House horse to get in there among them. It is interesting that he does hold an entry in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas but, if he does run at Christmas, the beginners’ chase at Leopardstown is probably a more logical option. That is usually a hot beginners’ chase, but he would be an interesting contender if he did take his chance in it. It may be that he will be at his best going left-handed over fences.
Naas, 16th December 2021