Horses To Follow » Chancery


Chancery did really well to finish fifth in the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday, given that he was trying to come from the rear in a race in which they dawdled early. As a consequence, those who raced handily were at a significant advantage.

Actually, the first three home in the race, Faraajj, Zain Eagle and Bold Sniper, were second, first and third from early, and they never relinquished those places. By contrast, Chancery was well back in the field from early, and he was still no better than 12th of the 16 runners at the top of the home straight. As well as that, he was checked in his run three furlongs out as he tried to make progress towards the leaders, Daniel Tudhope had to check him for a couple of strides, halt his momentum, before he could get into the clear again. Once he did, however, he finished best of all. He made relentless progress on the stands side to get up for fifth place, closest at the finish.

The early pace was against him on two counts. Firstly, it meant that, because he was held up, he was trying to make his ground into a continually quickening pace. Secondly, he stays a mile and a half well, this 10-and-a-half-furlong trip is as short as he wants, so a slowly-run race over the trip was always going to place the emphasis on speed rather than stamina, which was never going to suit.

Chancery is six, he has run 19 times in his life and he is not obviously progressive. Nevertheless, he is in the form of his life these days, his previous run at Newmarket was probably a career-best, and he could still have something in hand of the handicapper even though he has to race off a mark of 100 now, 3lb higher than his John Smith’s mark. (He was raised 4lb for that run at Newmarket, but the John Smith’s was an early-closing race so he got to race off his old mark.)

He goes on easy ground as well as on fast ground, he appears to be equally adept over a fast-run 10 furlongs as over a mile and a half, and he loves York. Two of his three wins on turf have been on the Knavesmire.

He could run next at the Ebor meeting at York, he could run in the Ebor itself. He has to prove that he can stay a mile and six furlongs, but he shapes as if he might. He was well beaten on his sole attempt over two miles on the flat, but that was on very soft ground, so you can forgive him that. Even if he does not run in the Ebor, he will be of interest wherever he runs next.

12th July 2014