Horses To Follow » El Barra

El Barra

El Barra did well to win the Grade 3 two-and-a-half-mile novices’ chase at Cork last Sunday after making a fairly bad mistake at the second last fence. Weak in the market beforehand, Willie Mullins’ horse travelled well through his race for Paul Townend in third place behind Idas Boy and Grand Paradis. He jumped into second place behind Idas Boy over the third last fence, and it looked like was travelling better than the leader when he made that momentum-halting mistake at the second last. Given a little bit of time by Paul Townend in order that he could recover his equilibrium, he moved up again on the far side, joined Idas Boy on the run to the last, jumped into the lead over the last and had enough in hand to withstand his rallying rival.

It was a game performance by Susannah Ricci’s horse, in beating a progressive and well-backed rival. He is a talented horse, he won the EMS Copiers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Punchestown Festival last April, a race that has been won in the past by his stable companions Kemboy and Asterion Forlonge, and a race that is working out really well this year. Runner-up Busselton won the Kerry National in September, fourth-placed Fan De Blues has won his last two chases, fifth-placed Gabbys Cross won the Galway Blazers at the Galway Festival, and third-placed French Dynamite won over hurdles at Thurles last month, and was only just beaten in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday. Two and a half miles is a good trip for El Barra for now, although he could get three miles at an easy track. His handicap rating of 154 is more than workable, although he could prove to be better than a handicapper now this season.
Cork, 6th November 2022