Horse of the Day
HORSE: Hermes Allen (below). RACE: Ballymore novices’ Hurdle (1.30pm).
TRAINER: Paul nicholls. JOCKEY: Harry Cobden. WHY SHOULD WE WATCH?
Many racehorse owners could walk past you on the street and you would not know who they were, but that is not true for one of the three men emotionally invested in Hermes Allen: Sir Alex Ferguson. Plenty of eyes will be on him as the action unfolds. The opening race of day two often produces winners that go on to have spectacular futures — istabraq (1997) and Faugheen (2014) to name just two — and this 10-strong field is packed with potential.
WHAT HAS HE ACHIEVED SO FAR?
Since making his racecourse debut at Stratford in October, Hermes Allen has continually shocked Ferguson, his other co-owners Ged Mason and John Hales, and trainer Paul nicholls. They did not know what to expect that first day but Hermes Allen won unchallenged by 27 lengths. From there, he went to the Cheltenham november meeting and demolished a good field by nine lengths. His best effort came at Christmas, however, when he obliterated his rivals in the Challow Hurdle at newbury. it was a performance that told you this six-year-old gelding had the talent to win at the biggest festival of all.
WHAT DO THEY SAY ABOUT HIM?
Ferguson is known to be particularly sweet on Hermes Allen’s ability, and the enthusiasm he fosters is shared by nicholls, who has dominated British jump racing in the manner that Ferguson’s Manchester united teams used to dominate the Premier League. ‘He’s been a revelation so far this season,’ nicholls purred. ‘He looks in great nick and he is progressive. i was worried to death at Stratford — he was just getting his act together and i didn’t know what we had! He is now a very good horse.’
CAN HE BE STOPPED?
As good as Hermes Allen is, this is not a one-horse race. Far from it. it is no exaggeration to say that any of his nine rivals have the ability to win today’s race but the most dangerous is impaire et Passe, trained by Willie Mullins. A lot of shrewd judges have been talking this fellow up. What a clash this could be.