DO YOUR JOB TO FIND HIS CALLING OVER FENCES
Mystic Dreamer hasn’t achieved the level over hurdles so far that her bumper runs suggested she could but she ran quite promisingly on her handicap debut at Doncaster. Held up through the first half of the race, she made headway on the very long run to 3 out and was only about 2½ lengths behind the leader at that hurdle. Pushed along on landing, she couldn’t go with the leading trio after that but maintained her fourth place to the finish. I think the very testing ground was against her on this occasion and she’s yet to have the ground over hurdles that I think she needs. Mystic Dreamer’s bumper win at Cheltenham was on good ground and, if it ever stops raining, she will be seen to better effect when getting that ground later in the season.
A winner of a point to point at Largy for Ashleigh Murphy in April 2018, Wild Polly made her return to action after a 679-day absence at Doncaster. Having raced a little further back than midfield, she made headway to track the leaders going to 3 out. She got in a bit tight to that hurdle and was pushed along and switched towards the middle of the track after. She came under stronger pressure after 2 out and responded well, just edging into second shortly after the last hurdle before the very long absence told and she dropped back into third. This was an encouraging hurdles debut from Wild Polly, particularly as she likely ended up on the worst part of the track in the closing stages.
Bought for £150,000 after winning an Irish point to point on debut, Do Your Job had shown some promise on his hurdles debut for Claire Dyson but improved on that at Newbury having since joined Michael Scudamore. He raced in midfield through the early stages before moving to track the leaders early on the final circuit. He maintained that positioned and travelled smoothly going down the side of the course before getting into a brief barging match with Full Back as Do Your Job was switched off the inside upon entering the straight. Nudged along on the run to the last (usual 2 out), he was delivered with his challenge at the hurdle and jumped it a length behind Brinkley. However, he soon came under much stronger pressure and from two furlongs out he was no match for Brinkley as that rival went clear and Do Your Job got very tired late on, just hanging on for second. He’s clearly going to be a chaser in the long term and it’s likely that he’s still on the weak side given his frame so I think there could be much more to come from him next season and beyond once going over fences.
Havacuppa had shown very little in five previous runs over hurdles but her performance at Huntingdon suggested that she could pick up a race from her very lowly mark. Her jumping lacked fluency at times but she was always in the first half of the field and made a move to track the leaders going down the back straight for the final time. She moved into a share of the lead turning out of the back straight and still appeared to be going well but after jumping 3 out she was nudged along and gradually faded from that point, finishing 16½ lengths behind the winner. There is a general trait in the family of favouring good ground and it may be that she will strike on far more suitable ground in the summer at the likes of Newton Abbot.
In Your Shadow had shown glimpses of ability, including on chasing debut at Cork when he often jumped out to the left, and he built on that when finishing second at Leopardstown, wearing a tongue tie for the first time. Held up, his jumping looked to lack conviction at times in the early stages but it improved as the race went on and he moved smoothly into contention towards the end of the back straight. After a good jump at 2 out, he tracked the leading line turning into the straight before having to wait for a clear passage, being switched on multiple occasions to try to find one. Jumping the last in a close third, he came under strong pressure and ran on into second but couldn’t challenge My Manekineko. This was a promising effort from a horse who is likely to only improve with time and I think In Your Shadow be seen at his best in strongly run handicaps and when kept away from testing ground.