Horses To Follow » Cougar


Cougar did well to win the three-year-olds’ maiden hurdle that opened proceedings at Gowran Park on Saturday.  He was weak in the market beforehand, but he travelled well through his race, and his jumping warmed up nicely, it was very good for a debutant.  He moved up on the outside at the end of the back straight, and he jumped up nicely into third place over the third last flight.  He jumped into second place behind the leader and favourite Charlie Luciano over the second last flight, and he stayed on well over the last and up the run-in to get up and win by a half a length. His cause admittedly aided by the runner-up’s ponderous jump at the final flight, but he went to the line strongly, and his winning time was the fastest comparative time of the four hurdle races run on the day by a fair way.

You couldn’t have asked for much more from the winner, who was having his first run over hurdles, his first run for Padraig Roche and JP McManus, and his first run since June.  That run in June was in a 10-furlong maiden at The Curragh, his last race for Aidan O’Brien, which he duly won by seven lengths.  By Deep Impact and out of a sister to Maybe, with a rating of 92 on the flat, he is a high-class recruit to hurdling.  He jumps well and, it is very early days of course, but he could take a high rank among the top juvenile hurdlers this season.

Gowran Park, 1st October 2022