Horses To Follow » Ebanoran


Ebanoran put up a fine performance to finish third in the 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday. Relatively weak in the market beforehand, the Aga Khan colt was held up out the back in the early stages by Declan McDonogh. He had to be niggled along at the three-furlong pole as the pace increased, and he was still stone last of the 10 runners, fully seven or eight lengths behind the leader, as they started the turn for home two and a half furlongs out. He picked up nicely in the home straight, however, and he stayed on really well, passing six horses inside the final two furlongs, to get up for third place on the line, finishing just over three lengths behind the winner Go For Goal.

This race was run at a good even pace, and the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time on a decent day’s racing at Leopardstown, but it did prove to be difficult to get into the race from the rear. The winner made just about all the running, and three of the four horses who chased him home had raced prominently, in second, third and fourth places throughout the race. Ebanoran was the only horse who was able to get into the race from the rear.

It was a fine effort from the John Oxx-trained colt, and he is almost certain to progress for what should have been a good experience for him, as his trainer’s horses invariably do. He looked like a smart prospect when he won his maiden over seven furlongs at The Curragh last October on his racecourse debut on good ground, and this was another step forward. He is by July Cup winner Oasis Dream, but he is out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Ebadiyla, who won an Irish Oaks and a French St Leger, and who is a half-sister to Gold Cup winners Enzeli and Estimate. It is more than possible that Ebanoran will progress for a step up from this one-mile trip, and the manner in which he finished off his race here adds further credence to that theory. He holds entries in both the English and the Irish Guineas, and he will be of interest if his trainer allows him take his chance in either, but he is of even greater interest as a potential Derby horse.

30th March 2014