Monday 19 March 2018

Watching brief

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

ON HIS OWN has won just twice over fences for Willie Mullins, both victories coming in the Thyestes Chase.

He has also fallen just twice, both times in the Aintree Grand National when his lack of experience was a huge negative.

With just 11 chasing starts and 18 in all, he remains lightly raced for a 10-year-old, but he bounced right back to his best on Thursday. He absolutely relished life out in front, with a six-length win off 142 under 11st 6lb far more meritorious than his 13-length rout off 125 for 10st 2lb in 2012 – he certainly isn't disimproving.

Significantly, the Aintree fences are now much less formidable since the controversial modifications and he enjoyed a confidence-boosting round in the Becher Chase in November, staying on purposefully all too late.

The handicapper will doubtless make life difficult for him come April, but On His Own is now at the point where he might finally make an impression in the Liverpool showpiece.

No surprise, then, that the 33/1 that could still be had about him on Thursday night disappeared yesterday. Third time lucky?

Irish Independent

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