Horses To Follow » Auckland


Aukland did well to get as close as he got in the two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday, coming from off the pace in a race in which the winner made just about all the running.  Settled back in the field and along the inside early on by Danny Mullins, he didn’t start to make ground from the rear until they raced towards the end of the back straight final time. He made ground along the inside over the third last flight, and he progressed as they raced around the home turn. He moved into fifth place on the run to the second last, but he got in tight to that obstacle, which didn’t help, and he wasn’t great at the final flight either. It never really looked like he was going to catch the winner Digby, but he ran on strongly to take second place in front of The Tack Room and Gracchus De Balme and L’Yser.

This was a race in which the early pace held up well. Digby made just about all the running, and L’Yser, who tracked him all the way, was only just run out of the places. Auckland was well back early on, but he travelled well and he kept on nicely. Tony Mullins’ horse is only five years old. He hasn’t won yet over hurdles, but he was only just beaten by Big Debates in a two-and-a-half-mile rated novices’ hurdle at Limerick over Christmas, and he could be winning soon now. He stays two and a half miles well and, a winner over 10 and 11 furlongs on heavy ground on the flat in Germany as a three-year-old, he could progress again for a step up in trip.
Fairyhouse, 17th April 2022