Horses To Follow » Educate


Put up here after his Newmarket run in July, Educate has won since and is worth noting again now that he is continuing to progress nicely. He could have a fair bit of improvement still to come.

His latest win came in a competitive mile-and-a-quarter three-year-old handicap at York on Friday. He was slow leaving the stalls and he raced right out the back of the 16-strong field, but he travelled nicely under a patient ride from Jamie Spencer. He was still just about last at the top of the home straight, but he travelled well, and he started to pick up as they came inside the last half mile. Having made stealthy progress on the near side, he picked up really well when Spencer pulled him out from behind Nameitwhatyoulike, and he quickly got to, and went past, the two leaders. He wasn’t doing a lot in front, his rider had to keep him up to his work, but the result never really looked in doubt from halfway up the home straight. Hold-up horses did seem to be advantaged on the day, there was a headwind up the home straight, but neither the second nor the third had raced up with the pace, they had made their move together just over two furlongs out towards the far side, and Educate was probably value for more than the winning margin.

This easy ground suits Ismail Mohammed’s gelding well, and Jamie Spencer, who was riding the horse for the first time here, is the ideal partner. The form of the race is solid, the right horses chased him home in the well-backed pair Deepsand and Docs Legacy, and the three of them drew right away from the rest of the field. Docs Legacy had been second to the returning and completely unexposed First Mohican (who has stepped up in grade and won again since) on his previous run, for which he had yet to be re-assessed, and Deepsand hasn’t had the rub of the green this season but is a really solid benchmark.

Educate is a little bit quirky, but that wasn’t really on show here, bar the fact that he didn’t seem to be doing a great deal in front.  Maybe he is maturing, this was only his seventh run, and he is very good when things drop his way as they did here. An 8lb rise makes things tougher, but he is a big horse, he has lots of scope, and he should improve over the winter now. This was reportedly his last run of the season, but if he does appear again before the end of term on soft ground, he will be interesting. Looking further ahead, he will be interesting in some of those good middle distance handicaps next season, especially with Spencer back on board.

12th October 2012