Horses To Follow » Ashdale Bob

Ashdale Bob

Ashdale Bob did well to get as close as he did in the two-mile-three-furlong hurdle at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve. Held up early on behind a moderate pace, he made a significant mistake at the third last flight just as the pace was increasing. He made nice ground for Jack Kennedy after that though, he travelled well up just behind the leaders as they turned for home, but he had lost a good position with that mistake and, as a consequence, he was forced widest of all around the home turn. He obviously had to expend plenty of energy in order to recover his position and, after that, he just kept on to finish third behind Sir Gerhard and Thedevilscoachman, to whom he was conceding race fitness. He just appeared to tire on the run-in, which was understandable for a horse who hadn’t run since June.

Jessica Harrington’s horse can be marked up at least a little on the bare form of the run. It wasn’t easy to make ground into a quickening pace, and he didn’t have a lot of luck in-running. He will be interesting next time with this run under his belt. He hasn’t won since his novice days, but he has run some really good races in defeat at the highest level. He is nine now, he is probably not a Stayers’ Hurdle contender this season, he probably lacks the deep stamina that is required for that contest, but the Boyne Hurdle would be an ideal next target for him, a race in which he was just touched off by Thedevilscoachman two years ago. That race, run over two miles and five furlongs, is a good race for him, a horse who probably just barely gets an easy three miles at the top level.

Punchestown, 31st December 2023