Horses To Follow » Haut En Couleurs

Haut En Couleurs

Haut En Couleurs probably would have won the Grade 2 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles on Sunday. Held up early on by Bryan Cooper at the back of the six-runner field, he made nice ground across the top of the track, and he travelled well in fourth place, just behind the leaders, as they turned for home. Moved towards the outside at the top of the home straight, he travelled best of all down to the final fence, and he moved into the lead on the approach to the obstacle. He jumped the fence well too, he was just a little long, but he just didn’t get his landing gear sorted on time and he came down. It was an unlucky fall.

Of course, it is impossible to know for sure whether or not he would have won, and the winner Fakir D’Oudairies was strong on the run-in, pulling six lengths clear of French Dynamite, but Haut En Couleurs probably had plenty more left to give too, it is probable that he would have won. He is a talented horse, he won a hurdle race in France on his racecourse debut, and he ran in the 2021 Triumph Hurdle on his first run for Willie Mullins, just his second run ever, in which he did well to finish third behind Quilixios having raced keenly early on. He hasn’t won over fences since he won his beginners’ chase on his chasing bow at Leopardstown last Christmas, but he didn’t run badly in the John Durkan Chase on his debut this season, and he was in the process of putting up a career-best on Sunday before he came down. Strange that he doesn’t hold an entry in the Ryanair Chase, but it may be that he will be supplemented to the race and, if he is, he could be a big player. He is only six so he has the potential to continue his progression now over fences.
Thurles, 22nd January 2023