Horses To Follow » Xinbama


Xinbama did well to get as close as he did in the 12-furlong handicap that opened proceedings at York on Friday, given that he was held up right out the back in a race that was run to suit those horses who raced prominently. Glenard, Salutation, Dolphin Village and Pearl Castle took up the first four places from flagfall. Those four horses were never out of the first four and they finished first, second, third and fourth. The race was run at such a sedate pace that it was very difficult for anything to get into it from the rear.

Kieren Fallon dropped Xinbama back and tucked him in from his outside draw in stall 20 of 20 but, once he did, he was a hostage to pace. Disputing last place as they straightened up for home – even a couple of very slow starters had made up the ground on him by that stage – it took him a little while to find his stride, but once he did, at the two-furlong pole, he stayed on really well to get up for sixth place, three lengths behind the winner. He and Stomachion were the only two horses who were able to make any inroads into the leaders’ advantage.

Xinbama is five years old, he has had plenty of races, 39 of them now to be precise, but he appears to be progressive now stepped up to a mile and a half and having just joined Charlie Hills. This was his fourth run this season over a mile and a half, and his record going into Friday’s race over the trip this term was 122. After winning nicely at Salisbury in June, he finished second at Chester in a race that is working out well and, on his last run before Friday, he finished second to an exciting horse of Luca Cumani’s, Connecticut, at Newmarket, giving him 4lb, and finishing seven lengths clear of the third horse.

The handicapper has left him on his mark of 84 for this, and he will be interesting over a mile and a half wherever he goes next off that mark. He is in a 12-furlong handicap at Haydock next Thursday, and he will be interesting if he takes his chance in that.

22nd August 2014