Horses To Follow » Elliptical


While all the talk after the really competitive 10-furlong Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury on Saturday was deservedly about the winner Forte Dei Marmi, the runner-up Elliptical would have been a fairly impressive three-length winner had Forte Dei Marmi not been in the race or not got a run. Held up at the rear of the field under Dane O’Neill – admittedly the fast pace set by Aattash suited those coming from the back – Elliptical still had a lot to do two furlongs out. He was trapped in for a while as the field bunched up, and he eventually had to come down the wide outside on his own. Kieren Fallon only got Forte Dei Marmi out inside the last half-furlong and it may have been that Elliptical had no time to react. He had produced a really good turn of foot to take it up himself just inside the final furlong and he was unlucky to be mugged by a potentially high class horse.

Elliptical had finished fairly close to Forte Dei Marmi on their previous run as well, in the Sunderlands Handicap at Sandown, where he was probably unlucky not to finish closer as he had to be switched a few times to get a run up the straight. Luca Cumani’s horse looks like a class act, he could be a Group horse, and there was certainly no shame in finishing second to him here again. Elliptical may not be that far behind him though, he has improved this season for being held up and coming off a strong pace. He was an impressive winner at Goodwood on his penultimate run when adopting the same tactics and the third, fourth and fifth-placed horses that day have gone on and won since.

He will be of big interest now if he can get these sort of conditions again, a fast run race on fast ground. Although he won on soft ground at Salisbury last year, he disappointed badly on soft ground at Nottingham on his final run last season, and all his improvement this term has been on fast ground. A 4lb hike to a mark of 97 may still underestimate his ability at this stage. He is in the Cambridgeshire, and he would be of big interest in that off his old mark of 93 (he would be 4lb well-in) if the ground came up good or fast.

18th September 2010