Horses To Follow » Keredari


There was a lot to like about the style of Keredari’s win in the Listed Loughbrown Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Fran Berry, the John Oxx-trained colt travelled easily in the lead, apparently happy to be bowling along in front as the field stacked up behind him. Berry increased the tempo gradually from the four-furlong pole and had his rivals well stretched fully two and a half furlongs out. He was in the drive position by the time they passed the two-furlong pole, at which point he only had a length in hand of his closest pursuer Moonreach, and there were a couple who appeared to be travelling better in behind, notably Stunning View and Song Of My Heart, but Keredari found plenty in front. Two lengths clear passing the furlong pole, he galloped on willingly all the way to the line to win impressively by four lengths, with Jamaayel running on well to take second place.

There is no question that John Oxx has his team well forward at this stage of the season, and there is a chance, therefore, that Keredari enjoyed a fitness advantage over some of his rivals here. As such, it was a clever move by Fran Berry to kick on from early and place an emphasis on fitness. That said, it is difficult to argue that the winner was not the best horse in the race. It isn’t easy to make all over seven furlongs at The Curragh, and he wasn’t necessarily afforded an easy lead, or at least he didn’t take one – it wasn’t a case of Berry stacking the field up and then kicking – and he clocked a good time, less than half a second slower than the time that the five-year-old Kargali clocked in winning the Group 3 Gladness Stakes run over the same course and distance an hour later carrying 1lb less.

Keredari looked like a useful prospect when he won on his racecourse debut last season, making all to land a seven-furlong maiden at Roscommon in September to record Oxx’s first juvenile success of the season. He was beaten in the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown on his only subsequent start last season, but the ground may have been on the easy side for him that day, he didn’t adopt the front-running tactics that he seems to enjoy, and there was no disgrace anyway in going down by two lengths to the Jim Bolger-trained Free Judgement, who hadn’t been beaten that far in the Dewhurst on his previous run.

Keredari can go on from this now. As son of Oasis Dream, he should get at least a mile, and he may prove to be at his best on fast ground, but the willing attitude that he displayed here will stand to him as the season develops. He is not in the 2,000 Guineas, but he would be an interesting candidate for the Irish Guineas, which is apparently under consideration by connections.

11th April 2010

© The Irish Field, 17th April 2010