Despite the flat season still having over a quarter of its course to run, the national hunt game takes centre stage at Fairyhouse this afternoon,with a potential star on show.
Jessica Harrington gives the 5-y-o Steps To Freedom his hurdling debut in the maiden at 3.15. The Statue Of Liberty gelding was a high class bumper performer last season, and was a very impressive winner of the Aintree feature, while under the care of Gordon Elliott. Subsequently moved to the County Kildare trainer, the horse has been in action on the flat over the summer.
Starting off with a victory in a 1m6f QR race at Leopardstown, Steps To Freedom then finished second at Fairyhouse and Gowran and earned a mark of 98. His final run was perhaps his most significant, as he filled the fourth place berth in a 1m 4f Listed race at Galway. Off a mark of 104 he would be an interesting recruit to the jumps game in any season. However,having already performed in national hunt race,the only question that remains to be answered is if he can jump or not.
Should he take to hurdling then Harrington has a potential Supreme Novices Hurdle candidate on her hands. It may only be September but the dreams are already beginning for the Moone handler and hopefully come 3.30 this afternoon both herself and Steps To Freedom will be a step closer to Cheltenham.