Two weeks’ previous we had a feast of potential top stars on offer from the Irish point-to-point scene, last week was a famine, but normal service resumes with no less than six four-year-old maidens reviewed by our expert Richard Pugh.
The show kicked off with a horse called DERBY, a winner at Loughbrickland on November 11. A French-bred four-year-old trained by Denis Murphy, the son of Policy Maker was having his third run between the flags; one of which came last season behind the exciting MADISON TO MONROE.
“I think he’s the biggest horse I’ve ever stood into, and I don’t say that lightly”, said Richard. “The way he quickened clear in extremely testing conditions, it was something quite exceptional. Size, scope and definitely handles testing ground, he’s only going to fill into his big frame. He’s a very, very exciting prospect”.
“Sean Doyle unleashed a bullet” is how Richard opened up on the next horse, KNOW THE SCORE. A son of Flemensfirth and a half-brother to the very useful Cailin Annamh, this horse won by six lengths at Ballinaboola.
“This fella had a good, lazy way of going. As they quickened up, he came on the bridle better, and watch as he quickens, his head drops and drops. He has loads of size and scope and a wonderful attitude. The race time was 16 seconds above the average”.
Richard couldn’t get enough of this four-year-old, finishing up with, “He just absolutely ticks every box; this fella could be special. He has the pedigree to be special. He has the size and scope. Know The Score is a name not to be missed”.
If you missed this week's Irish Point to Point episode, you can watch it below:
The second division of that maiden went to CLONDAW'S ANSWER. The time was three seconds slower than the previous maiden, but Richard feels it’s a performance worth marking up given the son of Ask did all his own work.
“This fella made the running, and all the way up the straight, you were waiting for something to come and get him, but he kept finding and finding”. Mick Goff’s horse had two starts last season, but Richard reported his stable to be under a cloud at the time. Now given a fair crack, Clondaw Answer delivered in good style.
Moving meetings, and sexes now, as the fourth horse to add to your ATR Tracker is QUEENS CAVE who won at Dromahane. Trained by Aidan Fitzgerald, “a man who had has good success with four-year-old mares”, Richard and the trainer are fans of this daughter of Court Cave.
“He definitely thinks this horse is at the top end of anything he has trained, mare or gelding. From the time they turned into the straight at Dromahane, this race was over. She quickened all the way up the straight and is a big, big mare.”
As we watched the closing stages of the race, Richard finished up stressing the form to be reliable and, “she really is top end of the all the four-year-old maidens we’ll see this season.”
On the same card, a four-year-old called CHINENSIS caught Richard’s eye. Trained by Vinnie Halley and by Well Chosen, a sire whose strike-rate is “exceptional” at the moment.
“This race was another fast time, 14 seconds above the average”. Not only did the time of the race impress our expert, but so did the attitude of the winner, and bigger and better things are expected.
The second division of the above maiden went the way of another son of Court Cave, COURT MASTER. This was another winner for the Aidan Fitzgerald team at Dromahane on what was a good weekend for the trainer.
“He’s a big, big galloping horse and there’s no coincidence there are two National winners on his page. He has Amberleigh House on his page. He thoroughly enjoyed the big galloping test that Dromahane is.”
“He’s got plenty size and scope and he’ll be a real winter horse”.
All horses flagged are entered in the Cheltenham sales on Friday November 17 so make sure to see how much they make and what new homes they go to.