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Horses to Follow with PJ Walsh

What a weekend, What a race meeting.

 

I say race ‘meeting’ as it is a celebration of Irish Racing which may be held at two different courses but all part of one great package.

 

Did someone mention Christmas (hit them if they did!), cos it came early for Irish flat racing enthusiasts. Irish Champions Weekend had it all. It had a build up which was full of weather forecasts, the will he/won’t he Gleneagles saga, then the action started with a controversial Irish Champion Stakes stewards enquiry to go along with the brilliance of the horses involved in the race, the ease of Legatissimo’s win, the 2yo Group 1 victories by Ballydoyle’s Air Force Blue & Minding, a 3yo winning the St Leger half the track after being thumped in the market, Sole Power eventually winning a big race on Irish soil, the big field handicaps that were impossible to solve but we were always going to try anyway, the previews and the reviews and an all round exhausting but exhilarating festival of all that is good about flat racing in this country.

 

It had its low points too, mainly the sad demise of Brown Panther and even though I mentioned it in the highs, the stewards enquiry in the Champion Stakes was a low point too with a slightly unsatisfactory result caused by Golden Horn veering into Free Eagle which in turn threw petrol on the already blazing fire that the rule book seems to be engulfed in.

 

Some would like to see that becoming a reality and not a metaphor! We all probably learned something from these races over the weekend and I hope to put forward two horses that will be profitable in the weeks to come.

 

 

Leopardstown 12th August
Alton Bay (Peter Fahey)

 
In an evenly run race Alton Bay caught the eye. He travelled well at the rear and made good progress on the turn out of the back straight before staying on well in the home straight to finish 4th in what would appear to be a strong handicap. The dual purpose gelding was having his first run since May and seems to be back in form after what has been described as ‘a mess of a season’ by his trainer.

 

His flat career of 5 runs has consisted of 4 good performances including this run, a maiden win, a conditions race win giving lumps of weight and a beating to a now 83 rated rival in Macnicholson and a 2nd to the talented Rebel Fitz giving him 7lbs accompanied by one bad run when out of form earlier this year. I think the Irish Cesarewitch or the November Handicap would both be suitable targets. The Loughbrown Stakes has been muted for him also due to a but he might be wrong at the weights there. He should improve for this outing fitness wise and can take advantage of his mark of 90 in one of those handicaps.

 

 

Leopardstown 12th August
Roheryn (Ger Lyons)

 
Two strong eye catchers coming from the same race might be a little strange but in such a strongly contested premier handicap there is always the possibility of well handicapped types contesting it.

 

Roheryn hadn’t been really hitting the heights of her 2014 season when she was 3rd in a Group 2 and ending that year on a mark of 105. This season has seen her drop down the ratings with some below par efforts before a return to form when she was 3rd in a strongly run event behind the 118-rated Fields Of Athenry in a Group 3 before contesting her first handicap last Saturday and performing with credit. She broke well from her wide stall and pressed the leader throughout the race before moving smoothly to the lead 3 out.

 

Quickly passed by the winner after turning in Roheryn’s stamina seemed to ebb away and a return to a more suitable 12 furlongs might see her win a good handicap before the season ends. Her trainer did state in his usual forthright blog that he thought the trip of 12 furlongs would be more up her street than 14 furlongs before the race and I’m sure this performance will reinforce that thinking. A race like the October Handicap in Naas would seem a good target.

 

 

Horses to Follow Roster:

 

Nodiac (Ger Lyons)
Benkei (Harry Rogers)
Plough Boy (Garvan Donnelly)
Dawenkour (Mick Halford)
Catch Word (Jim Bolger)
Kasbah (Johnny Murtagh)
Mutadaffeq (Kevin Pendergast)
Minding (Aidan O’Brien)
Jowana (David Marnane)
Jeremy’s Legacy (Paul W Flynn)
Malicious Intent (Vincent Clifford)
Maknificnet (Michael O’Callaghan)
Five Claw (Michael Halford)
Best Not Argue (J J Murphy)

 

Add:

 

Alton Bay (Peter Fahey)

Roheryn (Ger Lyons)

 

PJ Walsh – Follow the author on Twitter here…..

Latest winner from the list – Minding 15/2SP – 13th September 2015


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