Horses To Follow » Suprise Package

Suprise Package

Suprise Package ran better in the Tara Handicap Hurdle at Navan on Saturday than his finishing position in seventh place suggests. He travelled well through his race for Kevin Sexton, on the inside and just behind the leaders. He made progress down the back straight and moved up on the outside of leader Aldo The Apache as they left the back straight, and he moved into the lead after they landed over the third last. Kevin Sexton had a little look behind him at that point, which suggests that the rider felt like his horse was travelling as well as it looked like he was travelling. Suprise Package was still on the bridle on the run to the second last flight, which is probably around about the point at which he traded at 1.33 in-running. He wasn’t great at the second last, but he battled back well when Folcano challenged him to lead at the last, at which he got in tight. He just tired from there, he faded up the run-in as the hold-up horses closed, losing five places inside the final 100 yards.

It is remarkable that Suprise Package didn’t finish in the first six in the end, given how well he travelled and that he traded at 1/3 to win the race at the second last flight. Perhaps he simply tired up the stiff hill, having raced prominently.  It was a race in which the hold-up horses eventually came to the fore, with five of the first six home racing in mid-division or worse from early. It is also likely that this stiff two and a half miles just stretches Suprise Package’s stamina beyond its limit. An easy two and a half miles or a stiff two miles or two and a quarter miles probably suits him better.

Peter Fahey’s horse is a talented hurdler though, he was very good in winning the valuable Connolly’s Red Mills EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final at Punchestown last April, and his current mark of 128 is more than workable. He is only five, and he has the potential to go beyond that mark now. He goes really well at Punchestown, so he will be of particular interest when he goes back there, but, more immediately, he holds an entry in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown on Monday, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in that.
Navan, 18th December 2021