Horses To Follow » Chrysanthemum


There is a chance that the performance that Chrysanthemum put up in winning the Listed Flame Of Tara Stakes at The Curragh on Saturday will be under-rated by many. The form looks a little shaky at first glance, the odds-on favourite Spin obviously didn’t give her running, and the fillies who chased her home, Cambina and Aris, were allowed go off at 14/1 and 50/1 respectively. Chrysanthemum herself was sent off at 25/1, ninth best in a field of 10, there didn’t appear to be much market confidence behind the David Wachman-trained filly on her racecourse debut. However, there was a lot to like about her performance.

Slowly away and settled in last of the 10 runners by Fran Berry in the early stages, she made nice progress over against the far rail from the three-furlong pole, she travelled best of all down to the two-furlong pole just behind the leaders, and she picked up well when Berry switched her out to deliver her challenge, going bravely between horses under just a hands and heels ride to take it up at the furlong pole, and staying on well all the way to the line.

They field did bunch up behind her for the minor honours, there was less than a length between second and fifth, but Chrysanthemum put daylight between herself and her rivals, despite showing signs of inexperience once she hit the front. Also, the time of the race was good. She covered the straight mile in a time that was just over a second slower than the time that it took the year-older potentially top class Steinbeck to win the Group 3 Solonaway Stakes a half an hour earlier over the round mile, which is exactly a second easier than the straight mile, according to Racing Post standard times. There is a chance that Chrysanthemum benefited from racing against the far rail for much of the race, there is a chance that the ground was better over there, but it is not definite that it was, the jockeys seemed to want to shun the far rail as the afternoon wore on, and she left the far rail before they reached the two-furlong pole anyway.

A daughter of Danehill Dancer out of a Sadler’s Wells mare who was placed over a mile and a half, Michael Tabor’s filly seemed to appreciate the easy ground here, and she seemed to thrive on the test of stamina that it presented, getting stronger the further she went. She is in the Fillies’ Mile at Ascot next Saturday, and she would be an interesting outsider if she took her chance in that, especially if the ground came up soft. Even if she misses that race, she could be under-rated next time wherever she goes.

11th September 2010

© The Irish Field, 18th September 2010