Horses To Follow » Three Card Brag

Three Card Brag

Inthepocket was a good winner of the Grade 2 Navan Novice Hurdle, re-routed to Naas last Tuesday, he probably won with more in hand than the bare winning margin, and Henry de Bromhead’s horse is obviously hugely exciting, but Three Card Brag did well to get to within a neck of him.  The step up to two and a half miles was a positive for Gordon Elliott’s horse, after he had run a big race to finish a staying-on third in the Grade 3 For Auction Hurdle at Navan in November.  A mistake at the second flight in the back straight didn’t help him, and he was the first one of the leading quartet to come off the bridle at the top of the home straight with no hurdles left to jump.  He kept responding to Adrian Heskin’s urgings though, he stayed on gamely on the near side to go down by just a neck in the end, with the front two pulling nicely clear of his two talented stable companions Absolute Notions and Deeply Superficial.

Winner of his only bumper last season, Three Card Brag kept on well to beat subsequent winner Sandor Clegane in winning his maiden hurdle at Galway in October, and his two subsequent runs in graded hurdles have been highly encouraging.  He shaped here as if two and a half miles is a minimum for him and, a half-brother to Sun Alliance Chase runner-up and Scottish National fourth Idle Talk, he could improve for stepping up in trip again.

Naas, 20th December 2022