Horses To Follow » Garswood


Garswood effectively blew his chance in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday when, not for the first time in his career, he missed the break. He was always playing catch-up after that, which is really difficult in a Group 1 sprint, especially in a race in which the pace generally held out and the winner was in front from a long way out. Also, Garswood was dropping down in trip, he stays seven furlongs well, and he really needed to at least break on terms if he was to give himself a chance of matching the specialist six-furlong horses for pace. He struggled to even keep in touch for a large part of the race, and he was detached at halfway, but he ran on strongly through the final furlong and a half and finished best of all to take sixth place.

The Richard Fahey-trained colt had been strong in the market all week, but he was a little weak before the off, and that may have been significant. Even if not, seven furlongs is his trip, or maybe even back up at a mile. He saw his race out fairly well in the 2000 Guineas considering he missed the break there as well and met plenty of trouble in-running, not this six furlongs. He is probably capable of significantly better than this when he steps back up in trip.

He can take a while to find his stride in his races – he only really got going inside the final furlong of his previous run when he won the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood – and he was really struggling for a large part of this race, but, back up to seven furlongs or even a mile, he could well be a little under-rated after this. He would be an interesting outsider in the Prix de la Foret on Arc weekend, a race in which Moonlight Cloud and Gordon Lord Byron should dominate the market.

Given his size and scope, he should be even better next season as a four-year-old (the plan is apparently to keep him in training), and he could develop into a top-class horse, especially if he manages to sort himself out at the start of his races.

7th September 2013