Rhys Williams has analysed Sunday's jumps action and expects a handicap debutant to improve at Sedgefield...
"If Falethao d'Ana still retains the ability that he showed in points on either side of the Irish Sea then a rating of 88 underplays his ability"
Extreme Test To Suit
Sedgefield's 3m3f is the longest distance for a race over hurdles in Britain and that extreme test of stamina looks likely to suit Falethao d'Ana, who makes his handicap debut today.
He started his career in April 2019 in Irish points with Cormac Doyle and showed a fair level of ability. On his debut at Courtown, he was outpaced before staying on late to finish fourth behind three horses all now rated 122 or higher over hurdles. On his third and final start for Doyle at Necarne, he once again lacked the necessary speed to be competitive at the finish but plugged on to finish fifth behind Battle Of Actium (rated 125 over hurdles) with Pasvolsky, who's two from three under rules since, in third.
He was bought following that run and had another run shortly after, this time in a British point for Cath Williams. He ran in a two-runner Ladies' Open at Trecoed and beat the 1/4 fav Spencer Moon, who had shown a good level of form in Open company that season.
He was switched to the rules' yard for the following season and made his first start for Evan Williams in a novices' hurdle at Ludlow. Having travelled well for a long way, he was outpaced on the long run to 3 out and with three slight errors coming at the final three hurdles, he finished 29 lengths behind the winner in fourth.
Falethao d'Ana was then off the track for 429 days before returning to action at Bangor in December where he was tailed off over 2m in heavy ground. Another run followed just 7 days later at Uttoxeter over 2m4f on heavy ground. He was still just about in touch with the leading group coming down the mound on the final circuit but quickly dropped away after.
With that run being only 7 days after the Bangor run, it looks fairly clear that there was some urgency to get him a rating and he's been given an opening rating of 88.
There's obviously a concern, having been beaten by quite so far at Bangor and Uttoxeter, that Falethao d'Ana doesn't retain the ability he that once did. However, there's also a chance that he hated the very testing conditions on both occasions, found 2m far too sharp at Bangor and was in need of the run in both races.
He's been off the track for 79 days since and they are now resorting to cheekpieces for him. When winning at Trecoed, he looked quite idle when in front so these may sharpen him up and bring about more improvement.
If Falethao d'Ana still retains the ability that he showed in points on either side of the Irish Sea then a rating of 88 underplays his ability and 9/1 appeals.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021