Past Winners » Marine Nationale


(Message of 14th November 2022)

I have been kicking around the idea of getting Marine Nationale on side for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for a while, and now is the time to do it. He remains surprisingly under the radar …

Barry Connell’s horse has been seriously impressive in everything that he has done. He was impressive in beating the well-regarded Demandrivingdouvan at Punchestown in May, and the runner-up won at Thurles there two weeks ago, while the third-placed Halibut won at Clonmel at the end of October, and fourth-placed Spread Boss Ted won next time at Kilbeggan.

Marine Nationale himself came out and won his second bumper at Killarney, beating My Gaffer by an easy 11 lengths, and My Gaffer came out and won next time at Listowel.

Marine Nationale was impressive too in winning at Punchestown on his debut over hurdles last month. That race hasn’t worked out particularly well since then, but he couldn’t have done much more than he did. His jumping was really good for a debutant and, while they didn’t go a great pace, he impressed in the manner in which he quickened off it. He left the impression that he won with lots and lots in hand.

Barry Connell has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the French Navy gelding, and, in Michael O’Sullivan, he has a really good young rider. It is probable that Marine Nationale will be targeted at the Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse next and, if he does run well in that, he could be much shorter for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle than he is now.