Horses To Follow » Tullius


Tullius put up a big performance to beat a bang-in-form and progressive Memory Cloth in the opening nine-furlong handicap on Guineas weekend at Newmarket.

Progressive in six runs last year at three, Tullius beat Charles Camoin on his first run of last season in a handicap at Sandown, that horse went on to win a decent handicap at Epsom on Derby day, and Tullius was beaten narrowly three times after that last year, ending the season on a 15lb higher mark than he had started it.

Switched to the care of Andrew Balding upon the retirement of Peter Winkworth at the end of last season, he stepped forward on his first run for his new yard here. Ridden patiently over on the far side, he was in the last three of the 15 runners with three and a half furlongs to run, but made really good progress from there down the wide outside to hit the front two furlongs out. He edged to his left having got to the front, and then back to the right, and he looked like he would be claimed by Memory Cloth with a furlong to run, but he stuck on really strongly up the hill, drawing out more to win by three quarters of a length.

This is often a useful race, it has been won in the past by subsequent Group race performers Confront and Green Destiny, and the way the front two came clear of the high-class Fury, with a decent field of handicappers spread out behind, the field having gone an even pace through the race, suggests both Tullius and Memory Cloth could be good. The time was impressive, the second fastest comparative time on the card, with only the potential top-notch sprinter Mayson going faster.

This was a career-best by some way from Tullius, he can progress again now, and his 7lb hike is fair, given the authority that the front pair had over the field. Andrew Balding said afterwards that the Hunt Cup was a possibility now, and that is interesting as he certainly has the pace for a mile. He could climb right through the handicapping ranks this season.

5th May 2012