Horses To Follow » Gaillard Du Mesnil

Gaillard Du Mesnil

Gaillard Du Mesnil is obviously not under the radar, he finished third in the Irish Grand National last season, and he is currently favourite for the National Hunt Chase at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, but he put up a really encouraging performance in the Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse last Sunday over two and a half miles, a distance that is surely short of his optimum.  As well as that, he was held up early on in a race that was not run at an overly strong pace.  Last of the 10 runners jumping the fence in front of the stands with a circuit to run, he travelled well down the back straight on the outside, and he moved up into a share of second place at the fourth last fence.  He made progress to join the leader Mighty Potter at the second last and, while he couldn’t match the impressive winner for pace, he kept on well over the last and up the run-in to finish a clear second, 14 lengths in front of third-placed Banbridge.

Willie Mullins’ horse hasn’t won over fences yet but, a dual Grade 1 winner as a novice hurdler, he has put up some admirable performances in defeat, a close-up third behind L’Homme Presse in the Brown Advisory Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March to go with his third-place finish in the Irish Grand National in April.  Of course, he has to be on your shortlist for the National Hunt Chase if that is his target, but he might be under-rated in the meantime, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next, including if he goes for the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.

Fairyhouse, 4th December 2022