Horses To Follow » Elzaam


Elzaam had been a really high profile horse through the first part of last term, going off as short as 3/1 for the Coventry on his second start where he ran a fine race to be just chinned on the line by Strong Suit. He was odds on for the July Stakes on his next start, but he disappointed at Newmarket, possibly something was amiss though as he was off for three and a half months after that before appearing in the Group 3 Horris Hill with blinkers on. He saw the seven furlongs out well enough on that occasion in finishing a close third on good to soft ground, considering he took a fairly strong hold early on, although it still wasn’t the same level of form as his Coventry run. His first run back this term was in the Free Handicap at Newmarket with a visor replacing the blinkers, but they made little difference as his form seemed to take another step backwards in finishing fifth of six, seeming to weaken before stamina for a seventh furlong would have become an issue, although he did get bumped slightly as the winner quickened by.

Dropped back down to six furlongs for a Listed three-year-old contest at Newbury last Friday, and with the headgear left off, he produced his best run yet, showing a really smart turn of foot to come clear of his field. Perhaps just as important as the drop back to six was the fact that he was squeezed out between Pabusar and Button Moon soon after they left the stalls as that allowed him some cover. Having said that, he was right over on the near side of the group and Richard Hills probably had to go earlier than he wanted as the action was developing towards the far side, but he did it really well, making his ground on the near side, away from the other horses, and going clear, putting six lengths between himself and his rivals by the time they reached the winning line and clocking a good time, by far the fastest comparative time of the day, and only just slower than Racing Post standard. Even though market leader Dinkum Diamond didn’t get a clear run, it is very difficult to think that he would have beaten Elzaam, and this was certainly not a two horse race on paper, it was not a bad field at all, and Elzaam simply breezed past them.

Sprinting looks the game now for this son of Redoute’s Choice, a six furlong Group 1 winner at three himself in his native Australia. He could well take in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee next for which he is a best priced 16/1. It is not beyond the realms of possibility to see him go very well in that, even though he is still just three, given the acceleration he showed here.

13th May 2011