Horses To Follow » Penitent


Penitent put up an impressive performance in winning the mile Listed Fortune Stakes at Sandown on Wednesday. In a steadily-run race dictated by the course specialist Dunn’o, Penitent travelled clearly best of all to the two-furlong pole. Dettori on the highly talented Skysurfers seemed to catch Richard Hughes on Penitent slightly by surprise as he swept past on the outside at the two-furlong pole, but he never went much more than half a length up, and Penitent was able to claw him back inside the distance to win quite cosily in what was a good time for the ground on the day.

After comfortably justifying favouritism in the Lincoln, a race that is working out really well, Penitent disappointed on his only subsequent run before Wednesday at Epsom, when the ground was just too fast for him and he would not have been ideally suited to the course. He is a nice deep-chested sort who is suited to going through soft ground, and he will be of serious interest now going into the autumn as the ground gets easier. On an easier surface he could prove to be very useful indeed, with a step up to Group 1 company a possible now, perhaps in France where the ground is often easier. This was just the eighth run of his life, and he is hugely progressive. The only slight doubt heading into the latter part of the season is the possibility that he is better when fresh, although there is limited evidence for this. If William Haggas can keep him sound – he has had terrible feet problems and he had to be trained almost exclusively on the horse walker prior to his Lincoln win – then he could prove to be very good, especially on easy ground. He is an exciting horse.

15th September 2010