Eye Catchers December 2023
James Du Berlais – 4th in 3.00 Leopardstown 27/12/23
James Du Berlais ran a lovely race for his first time in a handicap finishing fourth in the Paddy power behind stablemate Meetingofthewaters. He was prominent throughout but raced on the inside part of the track where I believe was the slower ground.
The fact that he could hold the lead up to the final fence was impressive and he just tired after the last. He jumped well and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was to go to Gowran for the Thyestes Chase at the end of the month. Carefully Selected won it last year after finishing eleventh in the same race.
Gentleman De Mee – 2nd in 1.10 Leopardstown 27/12/23
Gentleman De Mee was the only horse that could get near Dinoblue in this Grade One chase conceding 7 lbs to the mare and finishing 7 lengths behind her. Gentleman De Mee would have hated this ground and ran up to form to finish where he did on ground that was totally against him.
Back on better ground he is capable of upsetting a few of the big boys and it will be interesting at the Dublin racing festival if he gets his ground. He is a Spring horse and on his day is an excellent Chaser.
Farland – 2nd in 3.25 Aintree 26/12/23
Farland has loads of ability but is a bit of a monkey and ran above my expectations finishing a close second in his bumper at Aintree. He has a big engine but just needs to learn how to race properly and not be so free throughout the early stages of his races.
He reminds me a bit of Redemption Day who just like him did too much early on and it cost him in the finish. Redemption Day needs better ground and he is a good animal as is this horse. He should have learnt plenty for the run and I would imagine he will take a significant step forward for the experience.
Whiskeywealth – Fell in 2.35 Thurles 17/12/23
Whiskeywealth was running a big race when coming down at the second last at Thurles last Sunday. He is rated 13 lbs lower over hurdles and can take advantage of that mark over his next couple of runs. John Shinnick will claim a further 7 lbs off him and he is definitely capable of picking up a handicap off his current rating.
So Des Flos – 4th in 12.30 Fairyhouse 16/12/23
I tipped up So Des Flos for the service and unfortunately on the day we learned this horse doesn’t stay the extended 3 miles. He travelled into the straight like the winner before fading after the last fence. I still think he can pick up a handicap dropped down in trip again and maybe put a good claimer like Danny Gilligan up to give him every chance.
Minella Indo – 4th in 3.00 Cheltenham 15/12/23
Minella Indo ran a very encouraging race for his first time over the cross country course at Cheltenham. He was carrying top weight in this handicap and looked like the winner rounding the final bend.
He ran on strongly up the hill but the 12 stone weight was his undoing. He is currently 6/1 for the cross country at the festival and there are worse each way bets out there. Off level weights he can be bang there come March and we all know the class he had in the past.
Old Port – 3rd in 12.45 Cork 10/12/23
Old Port was sent off 40/1 for Charles Byrne on his first try over hurdles and he ran an encouraging race finishing third 9 ¼ lengths behind the winner No Time To Wait. He jumped well and it will be interesting to see whether he will go and try win a maiden hurdle or go down the handicap route.
He was rated 92 on the flat when with former trainer David Evans back in Britain. The market will be the best indication as to when he will be trying as the stable is known to like a punt but he looks capable of winning a couple of races.
Riyami – 5th in 6.30 Dundalk 08/12/23
Riyami was a well fancied 5/1 in the Apprentice Handicap last Friday at Dundalk under 7 lbs claimer Calum Hogan and he was definitely an unlucky loser back in fifth. He was beaten just 1 ¾ lengths but was constantly short of room against the near rail throughout the final couple of furlongs before switching inside and finishing full of running.
The handicapper has left him on a mark of 64 and he should be up to winning a race over his next couple of runs.
Mahler Mission – 2nd in 2.50 Newbury 02/12/23
Mahler Mission ran a massive race here to finish 3 ¾ lengths second behind Datsalrightgino.
The John McConnell yard isn’t firing on all cylinders yet Mahler Mission travelled and jumped like a stag finding plenty in the finish but ultimately bumping into a well handicapped horse. I would love to see him target the Aintree Grand National now as I feel he would have a nice chance.
He is currently 20/1 and the third in this race Monbeg Genius is also priced at 20/1 for the big race next spring. Both would have every chance and are two exciting young second season Chasers.
North Lodge – 3rd in 1.40 Newbury 02/12/23
North Lodge ran a great race in the Coral Handicap Hurdle finishing third behind Get A Tonic and Anyharminasking. It was his first run for 602 days and unless he bounces next time out he should go close off a rating of 142. He missed the second last hurdle here just as the pace was lifting.
Under normal circumstances you would expect him to have faded out of things but he picked up again and stayed on nicely. He is very lightly raced and open to improvement. I would stress there is a concern that he may underperform on his next run as this race might have taken more out of him than it looks but he does look well treated off this mark.
Killer Kane – 3rd in 12.30 Newbury 02/12/23
Killer Kane ran a nice race to finish a 4 ½ lengths third behind Inch house in this 0 – 145 Handicap Chase. He jumped and travelled well throughout and only tired after the last fence.
Past records show he needs a couple of runs each season before he shows his best. He looks to have retained plenty of ability. He should pick up a race in the next few months and has a better record on right handed tracks.
Free Horse Trackers
There are several good horse trackers available to Punters. These trackers can be used to receive alerts on the eye catchers listed above. Some are free while others require a subscription such as with the racing post.
Below are links to some of the better free Horse Trackers available to punters.