Horses To Follow » Good Land

Good Land

Good Land was impressive in winning the two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on Thursday. Sent to the front from early, Michael O’Sullivan quickly had him settled into a nice racing rhythm. The rider didn’t panic when Embassy Gardens moved up on his outside on the run to the final flight, the usual second last. He didn’t really ask his horse for his effort until they straightened up for home and, when he gave his horse a squeeze, the response was impressive. Good Land came right away from his rivals around the by-passed final flight, putting eight lengths between himself and his closest pursuer by the time he got to the winning line.

There were three hurdle races run over this course and distance on the day, and Good Land posted the fastest time of the three, over three seconds faster than the other two, and he was about two seconds faster from the third last flight to the winning line than the 147-rated Shewearsitwell was in winning the Grade 3 mares’ hurdle, and Good Land was carrying 10lb more, even allowing for his rider’s 5lb claim. Barry Connell’s horse was impressive in winning his bumper at Wexford in October, a bumper from which the third horse, Landrake, has since come out and won twice over hurdles, and he did well to win here as well as he did, given that it was effectively his hurdling debut. He unseated at the first flight at Fairyhouse on his only previous attempt.

This maiden hurdle is a race that has been won by good horses in the past, with a roll of honour that includes Journey With Me, Stattler, Castlebawn West, Acapella Bourgeois and Windsor Park, and it is interesting that Barry Connell said that the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy Hurdle back at Leopardstown at the Dublin Racing Festival was in his mind now for Good Land. He should be a player in that race and, a half-brother to Fifrelet, a winner over two miles and five and a half furlongs, and out of a half-sister to stayer Tony Star, he could step up to three miles in time.
Leopardstown, 27th December 2022