Horses To Follow » Waterford Whispers

Waterford Whispers

The two-and-a-half-mile novices’ handicap hurdle run on the final day of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival is a race that is well worth watching a couple of times. The winner Champagne Admiral was good, he won nicely under a finely-judged front-running ride from Michael O’Sullivan, and Pat Fahy’s horse continues to progress. He has now won twice since he finished second to Royal Bond third An Tobar in a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse in November and an 8lb hike may not halt his progress.

The runner-up Waterford Whispers ran a big race too though. Henry de Bromhead’s horse travelled well through his race for Mark Walsh but, while he picked up well, he just couldn’t get to the winner. The race was slowly run, the winning rider set slow early fractions to suit his horse, the winning time was over 13 seconds slower than the slower of the other two races run over the same course and distance on the day, and the winner’s finishing speed was 110.91% of overall speed. Winner of his two previous races, Waterford Whispers continues to progress and, from the family of Whitbread Gold Cup winner Topsham Bay, he should do better off a stronger pace or stepped up in trip or both.

Leopardstown, 29th December 2023