Horse: Arkwrisht (7-Y-O Bay Gelding)
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
I’m sure this one went in plenty of notebooks, but such will be the competitiveness of the chases he may contest, with any luck he is will still offer decent value. Put simply, if he had jumped as well as the eventual winner, he would have won the Kerry National. He is an inexperienced and unexposed chaser who is bound to improve with more racing under his belt. He travelled into the sharp end of the race like a horse who had 20lb in hand. Considering he tried to take a few fences with him, especially three out, and lost momentum at plenty more, he did extremely well to get so close. That was some indication of his engine and how much he could have in hand. He has been raised a few pounds since this run but that won’t stop him when he next runs if he gets his jumping act together.
3m in heavy ground doesn’t seem to be a problem stamina-wise, and I always like to note chasers who are comfortable in such conditions. In time he could get even further, and who knows, may even do a Rogue Angel and win the Irish National. Joseph needs to do some work on his jumping but if can tidy that up this horse surely has some decent staying pots in him... and these owners do like a top class staying chaser. Time will tell.
Race Type: Handicap Chase
Race Distance: 3m +
Ground Type: Seems versatile, but heavy no problem on this evidence.
Horse: Bay of Freedom (8-Y-O Bay Gelding)
Trainer: Peter Fahey
This horse ran a gallant third in the same race, on what was only his fifth chase start. Given connections are less well known, with any luck he may go in at a decent price wherever he next wins. He looks very progressive and his prominent racing style should see him continue to put up decent efforts moving forward. In a smaller field there is even a chance that if he gets his own way up front he would run and jump them into the ground. In the end I think he was out-stayed by the two ahead of him, but I wonder if the combination of this extended trip and the tiring ground just took its toll at the end... but mind he wasn’t beaten far, and it was a very decent effort.
I would fancy him to run well in slightly less competitive races than this, in pretty much identical conditions. It may be that soft is as testing as he wants it at this distance, and I don’t think he wants much further. The front three were some way ahead of the rest here, and fingers crossed he can pay his way in the coming weeks.
I would be minded to keep an eye on all the front five from this race. The winner is clearly progressive and looks a dour stayer. (Potters Point) He ran all the way through the line and could get further. Viva Steve ran a superb race on his return for Fergal O’Brien, but lack of fitness just told in this ground . He has wins in him this season at around this trip on better ground. A Toi Phil – well I just don’t think he saw out this trip in heavy ground. Maybe on a sounder surface he might have got home, but I think 2m5f or so is as far as he wants to show his absolute best.
Race Type: Handicap Chase
Race Distance: 2m6-3m looks ideal
Ground Type: Versatile, good-heavy