Horses To Follow » Modeyra


The Godolphin filly Modeyra was making her seasonal debut in the Listed Atalanta Stakes at Sandown on Saturday, and she ran a highly encouraging race in going down fairly narrowly to Theyskens’ Theory, given that she had taken up the running a fair way out on ground that would have been soft enough for her, and that she was having her first run since last November. She boxed on really well but just couldn’t hold off the talented Theyskens’ Theory, who challenged towards the centre of the track, whereas Modeyra had eventually made her way all the way over to the near side in the straight.

She raced slightly keenly through the early stages as she didn’t have much cover initially as Reem was a little slow in crossing over to join Cochabamba at the front from a wide draw. Modeyra settled better when the two leaders came together coming to the turn, and she travelled smoothly into the straight. The two leaders headed straight over to the near side rail, but Ian Mongan initially kept Modeyra towards the middle of the track in the straight before slowly edging over more towards the near side, but still a long way off the rail. She kept edging to her left as she came under pressure, moving over towards Cochabamba, and Mongan actually seemed intent on moving right over to the near side rail at the cutaway, normally the fastest part of the track when the ground is soft. This may not have helped in the end, however, as the winner made her run furthest out towards the centre of the track and the fast finishing third, Brevity, also challenged outside Modeyra. The ground may not have been as bad as it seemed, it may not have been a disadvantage to race out towards the centre, and Modeyra was probably ultimately disadvantaged by foresaking ground in coming across to the near side. Also, she had been left in front a long way out, the two leaders both weakened early in the straight, and she just couldn’t hold off the challenge of Theyskens’ Theory. That said, she was coming back at the winner at the line as that one drifted out even further to the centre of the track under a left-hand drive from her jockey.

This was a fine first run back from Modeyra. The winner has always threatened to be a very good filly, especially in these conditions, she won the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood last year on soft ground, and she wasn’t beaten far by White Moonstone in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Ascot. Modeyra looked a filly of considerable potential on her first two starts, winning a 21-runner two-year-old maiden over a mile at Doncaster on her only start at two from subsequent Cheshire and Lancashire Oaks winner Gertrude Bell. She obviously had her problems after that as she didn’t return to the track until October of her three-year-old career, when she showed an impressive turn of foot to win a Listed race at Newmarket over 10 furlongs from subsequent Group 1 winner Timepiece. She did disappoint on her only subsequent run last season, three weeks later, but that was obviously not her running. She proved on Saturday that she is much better than she showed there.

It is likely that she has had her problems again this year, Saturday was her first run of the year, but, presuming she can be kept sound until the end of the season, she could well be up to winning at a higher level. Her two runs last year were both over a mile and a quarter, and she has the option of going back up to that trip now, she is in the Blandford Stakes over that trip on Irish St Leger weekend, although at this stage she also holds big race entries over a mile and a mile and a half. Her dam won the Nassau Stakes in 1999 having been placed behind Ramruma in the Oaks, so 10 furlongs is fine for her on pedigree. Given how she was coming back at the winner late on here, a step back up to 10 furlongs could bring about even further improvement.

20th August 2011