Horses To Follow » Akmal


Akmal deserves another chance after disappointing in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday. The choice of Richard Hills in front of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s other representative Aajel, who ultimately finished second, the game plan was obviously to anchor Akmal in behind here. You could see why, with plenty of front-runners in the race, including Aajel, but it didn’t work for Akmal who was at his most impressive last year when he was allowed bowl along. He fought against his jockey in the early stages, off what wasn’t a frenetic early pace, somewhat surprisingly, as a lot of the jockeys seemed to have a similar idea to Richard Hills, that there was going to be plenty of pace on so best to drop in. Hills gave Akmal his head going down into Swinley Bottom, and he travelled well from there to the home straight in second place behind Aajel, but it was all too late, he had expended too much energy in the early stages of the race and was a spent force by the time they reached the home turn.

The son of Selkirk made all when he won a listed race and a Group 3 race at Newmarket last October, beating Manifest in the latter, and he can be seen to better effect when aggressive tactics are next adopted, which they surely will be the next time he runs. He got off the mark on his third run last season, and he has now run twice this term, so he could improve for this, he could be better next time.

28th April 2010