It’s very early days but I honestly believe we saw a surefire Cheltenham Festival winner on day two of the glorious Showcase meeting at Prestbury Park. The horse in question is Shark Hanlon’s Clondaw Warrior who won the closing Bumper in emphatic fashion.
He had to survive a Steward’s Inquiry after objections that he had bumped the second horse Catch Tammy in the final furlong. That aside you cannot fail to be struck by this performance from a horse that was running under a double penalty.
Clondaw Warrior began his racing life in point to points in April of this year. He was placed in both efforts between the flags then on his first outing on a racecourse in a point to point bumper at Tipperary, he was just touched off by a head by the now Donald McCain trained Golden Call. Then came an impressive victory at Down Royal in another point to point bumper on good to firm ground. Although he won next time out at Cork in yielding ground, his trainer states that the horse will not handle soft ground. So don’t expect to see him slogging around mid-December in the dark! He will now have a break before following the golden path that leads across the sea to jumping headquarters for the 2012 Champion Bumper. It is worth noting that the horse he beat at Cork namely Saint Gervais, went on to win bumpers at both the Galway and Listowel festivals with style.
Clondaw Warrior justified the stables faith by winning on Saturday. In the flesh he is an impressive individual with an air of authority. I am very tempted to strike my first ante post wager of the 2011/12 National Hunt season.
Cathryn Fry – 18 October 2011
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