Horses To Follow » Bushman


I think we now have to accept that Bushman doesn’t need cut in the ground after he put up a really game effort to land the Group 3 Diomed Stakes over a mile at Epsom on Friday. Settled nicely disputing second position with Harrison George behind pace-setter Ordnance Row, he did have the run of the race. Ordnance Row didn’t set that fast a gallop, and when the pace is slow, you don’t want to be too far back in the field. That said, Bushman had the early pace to gain and hold his good position. He was drawn in stall eight of the nine runners, just inside Mabait and, whereas William Buick was able to go forward from early on Bushman, and gain his good position, Kieren Fallon ended up posted wide on Mabait, and had to drop back towards the rear of the field in order to get cover and in order that he wouldn’t be racing three wide all the way around the top turn. Also, while the pace didn’t appear to be that fast, the front-runners may not have been advantaged that much, as Ordnance Row and Harrison George, the horses that raced up there with Bushman through the early stages, faded out of it inside the final furlong.

Bushman didn’t. It did take him a little while to get the better of Ordnance Row when he moved up to challenge at the two-furlong pole, but William Buick was keeping a little back for the final heave up the hill, and there was a lot to like about the manner in which David Simcock’s gelding found more, sticking his head out willingly, when he was challenged by Alexandros, who looked certain to go past. It wasn’t as if Alexandros wasn’t going on. The front pair and Mabait, who finished third, continued to pull clear of the rest of the field, the three of them finished out the race well.

Bushman looked very good when he won a Class 2 conditions race over a mile at Newmarket last August, coming clear of Kay Gee Bee and Cesare, and he lost no caste in going down by a half a length to the potentially high class three-year-olds Prince Of Dance and Shaweel on his final start at Newmarket. He was an impressive winner of a listed race at Windsor on his debut this season on fast ground, beating Ordnance Row and Vitznau and Beacon Lodge easily. That is good solid listed race form, but this was another step forward on that. He can continue to progress, the fact that he handles better ground for sure now opens up more options, and he can step up in class again now.

4th June 2010