Horses To Follow » Tuscania


Tuscania is a horse to look out for after a promising first run at three in the seven-furlong fillies’ handicap at Newmarket on Friday. Immediately restrained by Ryan Moore as they came out of the stalls, she was last early on as the field came down the middle of the course. The field started to fan out as they came inside the final quarter-mile and they gradually drifted towards the far side which was where Tuscania was switched to try to make ground up on the outside of the field. She made ground nicely but didn’t have a lot of room as Ishbelle, also having her first race of the season, drifted over towards the rail, taking Tuscania with her and squeezing her up slightly, with the gap between that filly and the rail briefly not big enough for Tuscania to fit through. Meanwhile, the well-supported favourite Instance had stormed to the front on the near side, with the second home, Chokurei, also coming right down the near side, away from Ishbelle and Tuscania on the far side. Clearly Tuscania made her challenge on the unfavoured side and was not helped at all by being taken right over to the far side rail by the eventual third. When Ishbelle was straightened up and Tuscania was in the clear she ran on well to get fourth, and she was actually in front at the pull-up.

This was just Sir Michael Stoute’s filly’s third ever run, and her first since the end of October so she can be expected to improve quite a bit for it. A half-sister to Confront, who was also trained by Stoute, she easily landed a maiden on her debut on the Polytrack at Kempton last September. While the subsequent efforts of most of those in behind that day haven’t been outstanding, the fourth filly Carleston Lady went on to finish second to Dorcas Lane in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on her first run at three, and Tuscania won with a deal of authority that day, enough to justify a step up to Listed company on her next start. She showed her inexperience there though, getting agitated in the stalls and not being able to quicken when the pace lifted, but she still stayed on to finish fifth of 14 behind Zowraa.

Confront’s best performances have come over a mile and nine furlongs, and Tuscania is also a full-sister to Nearby, a five-time winner over hurdles, who also finished third in this year’s County Hurdle, so Tuscania should be better over further than the seven furlongs of this race. She was giving a fair amount of weight to the first two here, 7lb and 9lb respectively, and she can progress now with this run under her belt. The handicapper has left her on her mark of 90, and she is one to look out for next time.

8th July 2011