Horses To Follow » Mighty Bandit

Mighty Bandit

Mighty Bandit was impressive in winning the three-year-old maiden hurdle that opened proceedings at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Settled in mid-division early on by Jack Kennedy, he travelled well through his race, jumped well and moved up in behind the two leaders as they turned for home. He angled out at the top of the home straight, and he picked up impressively. He hit the front on the run to the final flight, and he cleared away on the run-in to put nine and a half lengths between himself and the well-regarded Lark In The Mornin by the time he got to the winning line, with the runner-up in turn clear of the rest.

This was Mighty Bandit’s racecourse debut, his first race under any code, and that makes his performance all the more impressive. And the time was good, over two seconds faster than the time that State Man clocked in winning the Morgiana Hurdle over the same course and distance later in the day. By top stayer Order Of St George, his dam is a half-sister to Akilak, who finished third behind Penzance in the 2005 Triumph Hurdle, and that race is a legitimate long-range target for Gordon Elliott’s horse now. In the interim, he will be of interest in all the top juvenile hurdles. The Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival looks like the obvious next step for him now, followed, all going well, by the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Punchestown, 25th November 2023