Horses To Follow » Bayan


Spiritual Star was an impressive winner of the seven-furlong maiden at Newmarket on Friday, travelling smoothly out in front and stretching clear down into the Dip and up the rising ground to win by six lengths. In behind him, though, there was considerable promise from Brian Meehan’s debutant Bayan who finished sixth, just touched off for fifth place. The winner, third, fourth and fifth all had previous experience and Bayan shaped really encouragingly on his debut. He travelled well, he just got a little outpaced on the run down into the Dip, and he wasn’t knocked about, keeping on nicely under just a hands and heels ride to be closest at the finish.

The Danehill Dancer colt is bred to be better over further than this seven-furlong trip, his dam won a listed race over two miles on soft ground, and she is a half-sister to Dorothy’s Friend, who was a good staying handicapper for Roger Charlton, winning seven times on the flat on sound surfaces over a mile and a half and two miles, and to Thattinger, who won a nine-furlong listed race at three in a brief career in France. It is encouraging – given that Bayan is by Danehill Dancer, whose progeny often go well with ease in the ground, and that there are several soft ground performers on the dam side of the pedigree – that Bayan appeared to handle the quick ground here. Significantly, Brian Meehan’s debutants almost always come on for their first runs, and the fact that Bayan was slightly weak in the market, for all he was only an 8/1 shot, suggests that he was expected to improve for this experience.

A 210,000-guinea yearling, he is entered in the Racing Post Trophy, and while he will need to improve considerably before then to warrant a trip to Doncaster, he will certainly be of interest wherever he does go next on the back of this run. He will probably be even better on easier ground, and it is not hard to see him making up into a useful staying three-year-old next season.

23rd September 2011