Horses To Follow » Carraiglawn


Carraiglawn put in a nice performance to win the Listed Silver Stakes at The Curragh on Friday evening. The Jim Bolger-trained colt took a little while to settle, he saw daylight for the first two furlongs from his outside draw, but he settled nicely once Kevin Manning got him tucked in behind runners. He travelled well through the race from that point just behind the leaders, moved up on the outside of favourite Address Unknown at the entrance to the home straight, still travelling well, picked up nicely on the outside to take it up off the leader Barring Decree just inside the two-furlong marker, and stayed on well all the way to the line to win nicely.

This was a fine performance from a progressive colt. The winning margin was only a length in the end, but the winner never looked in danger, he travelled like the best horse through the race and it never looked like the late challenges of Choose Me or Harriers Call would prevail. Furthermore, Ideal Match and Barring Decree between them set a fast pace, and Carraiglawn chased it. The other horses who were up there early, Dance On By and Address Unknown, both faded out of it in the home straight. Choose Me and Harriers Call were well back in the field early, so it probably wasn’t in Carraiglawn’s favour that he raced handily throughout, given how the race was run. This was just the fifth run of the Rock Of Gibraltar colt’s life, and he has progressed with each one, from finishing second in a median auction maiden at Naas in April on his debut this season to making virtually all in a 10-furlong maiden at Navan at the end of May and running out a really impressive winner. He came into Friday’s race on a handicap rating of 92, which in theory left him with a lot to do against the older horses, the 102-rated Choose Me and the 105-rated Sebastian Flyte, and against his contemporaries Address Unknown, rated 16lb his superior, and Fighting Brave, 9lb his superior. It was a little unsatisfactory that both of those colts seemed to underperform, it detracts a little from the race, but the time of the race was good and the manner in which Carraiglawn did it was impressive.

A half-brother to Irish Derby winner Soldier Of Fortune, Carraiglawn seemed to appreciate the step up to 10 furlongs this season, and on this evidence, and on breeding, there is every chance that he will improve again for stepping up to a mile and a half. Bolger spoke about running him in the Irish Derby after this, and he would be a lively outsider in that if he took his chance. He is hugely progressive now, and there is no telling how high he could go.

4th June 2010

© The Irish Field, 12th June 2010