It’s all just a little bit of history repeating itself!
Same horse, same jockey, different trainer! That was the script behind the 2011 Kerry National at Listowel on Wednesday. Alfa Beat had won the race in 2010 when trained by Charles Byrnes; he is now in the care of John ‘Shark’ Hanlon after changing hands at the Doncaster Sales in May for £75,000. The Grey was always jumping and travelling very well thus adding fuel to the fire of the long term plan of the 2012 Grand National. Just one run over hurdles awaits between now and the April showpiece. His first taste of the Liverpool
fences ended prematurely when he fell in this year’s Topham. However don’t let that put you off; remember Hedgehunter crashing out in the 2004 Grand National then running away with the race in 2005?
Of the placed horses in the Kerry National, Galway plate winner Blazing Tempo continues to catch the eye. The mare travelled stylishly throughout the race until the combination of the weight and soft ground took their toll. It was a gallant effort to finish in fourth place. Plans still include a shot at the English Hennessy and maybe just maybe a trip to Cheltenham in March. There is certainly a lot more to come from Blazing Tempo.
It could be worth noting that Monty’s Pass won the Kerry National in 2002 en-route to his demolition of the 2003 Grand National field. Currently Alfa Beat is available at 33/1 to do the same. Surely he’s worth a few pounds or euros each way?!
Cathryn Fry – 15 September 2011