Horses To Follow » Farquhar


Farquhar did really well to get as close as he did in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on Saturday.

Slowly away from his outside stall, widest of the 14 runners and last of all through the early stages of the race, it was not in his favour that the early pace was slow. Silvestre de Sousa and Joe Fanning on the two horses who led from early, Notarised and Watersmeet respectively, were allowed to set easy early fractions, with the result that a lot of those horses in behind strained the reins and expended energy wanting to go faster. The other consequence of the sedate pace was that it was difficult for the hold-up horses to make ground from the rear.

Farquhar was still last as the field turned into the home straight. Still flush against the inside rail, but travelling well, as Notarised and Watersmeet went for home, Pat Cosgrave gradually manoeuvred his way through horses towards the outside in order that he could engineer a run for himself. Still fourth last of the 14 runners as they passed the two-furlong pole, he started to make his progress down the near side as the two Mark Johnston horses went for home and put three lengths between themselves and their pursuers. Farquhar was fully five or six lengths behind the leaders passing the furlong pole, but he finished best of all to get up for third place, just two and a half lengths behind the winner Notarised.

This was a big run from Farquhar, probably the best run of his life. Peter Chapple-Hyam’s horse does have his off-days, but he can excel in these big-field handicaps, as he proved when he sprang a 40/1 shock in a big 12-furlong handicap at Newmarket last October off a mark of 89. The handicapper raised him just 2lb for this run, which is more than fair. He should do better off a stronger pace, and it is interesting that he holds an entry in the Ebor. He was well beaten on his only try at a mile and six furlongs, but he wasn’t beaten through lack of stamina that day, and he is worth another try at the trip.

4th July 2015