While Pravalaguna coasted to victory in the feature race at Naas – the Opera Hat Mares Chase – it was a horse who finished 14 lengths behind the winner who has come out of the race with credit too.
Baie Des Iles was returning from a disastrous run in the Welsh Grand National last time out, and over an inadequate trip of two miles, the dashing grey was kept wide, jumped right and made some sloppy errors, but she plugged on for a pleasing second place.
It’s obvious that trainer Ross O’Sullivan earmarked this race as a welcome confidence booster ahead of loftier targets come the spring, but the eight-year-old showed her class to run such a pleasing race over a trip a mile shorter than she would ideally like, especially given she could have easily been rerouted to a more typical target at Punchestown the next day.
The mare finished 12th in last season’s Grand National and it is likely that race, and the Irish equivalent, will be on her agenda this time around after a final prep race.
If she was to pass her next trial with flying colours, Baie des Iles would head into her spring targets with major credentials.