Horses To Follow » Thedevilscoachman


Thedevilscoachman got off the mark over fences in the two-mile-six-and-a-half-furlong beginners’ chase at Galway on Sunday, and Noel Meade’s horse did lots right, he probably had a fair bit more in hand than the bare winning margin. Kept wide by Mark Walsh and given plenty of light at his fences, his jumping was a little careful early on, but he warmed to his task as the race developed and, moved up on the outside on the run into the dip, he was very good at each of the last two fences. Those two jumps took him into the front rank as they  raced around the home turn. He travelled really well into the home straight, and his rider just had to keep him up to his work in order to get him home by almost two lengths from Churchstonewarrior.

This was a good beginners’ chase. Churchstonewarrior was a progressive staying novice hurdler last season, reaching a rating of 135, while Sams Profile is a 152-rated hurdler, and Dunboyne and Folcano are both rated in the high 120s. This is a race that has often been a pointer to the future, boasting, as it does, a roll of honour that includes Don Cossack, Presenting Percy, Jessies Dream, Battleoverdoyen, China Rock and Last Instalment. Thedevilscoachman ran twice over fences last season without winning, returning to hurdles to win the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February. His two runs over fences last season were both over the minimum trip, but it looks like JP McManus’ horse will be well suited to staying trips over fences. He should be able to step up in grade now, the Florida Pearl Chase at Punchestown and the Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse are two obvious options, but it could be worth following him now on soft ground through the winter wherever he goes.
Galway, 30th October 2022