Horses To Follow » Collaboration


Collaboration did well to finish second in the Esher Cup at Sandown last Friday, and it could pay to keep on the right side of him now for a little while.

Weak in the market beforehand, he was taken back towards mid-division of the eight-runner field through the early stages of the race by Jimmy Fortune. Fourth into the home straight behind the pace-setters Elite Army and Windshear, he travelled well to the two-furlong pole. The two leaders stole a bit of a march on him when they quickened at that point, he probably had around four lengths to make up on them from a furlong and a half out, but he stuck to his task well under largely just a hands-and-heels ride, despite a slightly awkward head carriage, to get past Elite Army inside the final 100 yards and claim second place behind Windshear, with the front three miles clear of their rivals.

This was a good run from Collaboration. Windshear is a talented and progressive individual, so it was no disgrace finishing second to him, conceding 1lb to him. The handicapper raised the winner by 11lb, whereas he only raised the runner-up by 1lb. That may be a little harsh on the winner and a little lenient on the runner-up. It was a day and a race on and in which it was difficult to make ground from the rear. Collaboration did not have to come from that far back, but he still had to make ground on the two leaders from out of the pack. He was the only one who was able to emerge and mount any kind of challenge.

On this evidence, he should appreciate a step up to a mile and a half. He should come on for this run, he handles soft ground well, and a mark of 82 may under-estimate his ability by a fair way.

25th April 2014