Horses To Follow » Kilcruit


Kilcruit was impressive in winning the EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase at Punchestown on Friday. Paul Townend kicked Willie Mullins’ horse out of the gate, and he never saw another rival. His jumping was very good. The only semblance of an error was at the second last fence, but his only pursuer Life In The Park also made a mistake at that obstacle, and Kilcruit came away from there to post an impressive victory.

This is a race that has been a really good pointer to the future, especially for Willie Mullins-trained horses, boasting, as it does, a roll of honour that includes Asterion Forlonge and Real Steel and Kemboy. Kilcruit was a top-class bumper horse, second in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and winner of the Champion Bumper at Punchestown. He only won once over hurdles last season, and this was just his second win over fences, but he raced just four times over fences this season, and his two losing runs were in Grade 1 races. He could still be a Grade 1 horse over fences next season though, and it is interesting that the time that he clocked here was over three seconds faster than the time that the top-class Impervious clocked in winning the Grade 2 mares’ chase run over the same course and distance 35 minutes later. The Galway Plate was mentioned as a possible target now, but, now rated 160, he is a horse to look forward to in graded chases next season.
Punchestown, 28th April 2023