A Man to Watch

November 5th, 2021 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there!

I was asked recently who did I think, from the current crop of trainers, could ‘do a job’.

In the past a handful of names would have come to mind, but for a moment I struggled to think of anyone before finding myself saying Philip Kirby.

I’m not sure what this was based on precisely, but lo and behold just a few days after that conversation his McGarry landed a touch in today’s modest extended 2m 7f 0-100 handicap hurdle at Hexham. Available at around the equivalent of 3/1 on Betfair early on he returned a starting price of 5/6 and won by 16 lengths easing down.

The seven-year-old had finished no better than fourth in 12 previous starts over hurdles and was having his first run since March. Stepped up in trip, he had won an Irish point-to-point in October, 2019, and then run twice in novice hurdles for Henry Oliver.

Moved to Philip Kirby he ran twice more in novice company before switching to handicaps from a mark of 107. Eight further defeats followed, leading to his mark dropping 29lb to today’s 78.

Ridden with great confidence he strolled away to win with over a stone in hand.

There were similarities with the same trainer’s Bushypark, who had also won a point-to-point before landing a touch off 83 at Hexham a year ago and then winning four of his next five starts off 98 twice, 105 and 120. On that occasion the horse improved from a mark of 83 to 132, a total of 49lbs.

We need to keep on the lookout for horses from this yard with similar profiles. This is quite evidently a very shrewd outfit.

Bye for now