Horses To Follow » Balaagha


It was hardly a surprise that Balaagha missed the break quite badly in the seven-furlong three-year-old fillies’ handicap that kicked off the July meeting at Newmarket on Wednesday, given that this is now almost a feature of her racing style. Two lengths behind the second last filly before they had gone 100 yards, Richard Hills quickly had her settled in last place, at the back of the group that raced on the near side. Quite keen through the middle part of the race, she did make nice headway when her rider asked her to improve from just outside the two-furlong pole. She had at least four lengths to make up on the leaders from that point, but she made up most of it, racing closest of all to the stands rail, to dead heat for second place, just a length behind the shock winner Greenisland in a really good time, just 0.04secs/furlong slower than Racing Post standard and the second fastest comparative time of the day behind Goldikova’s time in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes.

This was just the fifth start of the Mr Greely filly’s life, and she is slowly getting the hang of things. She had to be dismounted on her way to the start before she won her maiden at Chester in May, and she has now been slowly away on all of her five starts. She got away with it at Chester, and she almost got away with it at Goodwood in June, but it is harder to give away ground as you go up in grade. She is getting better though, and if she can be taught to get away at least on terms with her rivals now, then obviously she is capable of a fair bit better than this. She should be improving anyway, she is progressive, and she should be worth following.

8th July 2009

© The Irish Field, 11th July 2009