Horses To Follow » Donncha


Donncha was one of the other horses to take out of the Betfred Mile at Goodwood on Friday.  Robert Eddery’s horse ran better than his finishing position suggests in finishing seventh.

Dropped in from stall 13, towards the outside in a race in which it is usually a significant advantage to be drawn low, he travelled well through his race for Andrea Atzeni.  He rounded the home turn just one off the inside rail, but he had to drop well back in order to get in, he was only 10th as they straightened up, which wasn’t ideal in a race in which they did not go a frenetic gallop.

He travelled well to the two-furlong pole and, angled towards the outside, he did start to pick up from there.  But it was very difficult to make ground into the quickening pace.  He closed all the way to the line to be closest at the finish.  He started his run at the two-furlong pole, about two lengths behind the favourite Basem, and he finished his race just over a length behind him, having raced in daylight and on the outside from the two-furlong pole.

This may not have been another step forward by the Captain Marvelous colt, but circumstances just did not allow, and he still retains his progressive profile. The winner of seven-furlong handicaps at Goodwood and Redcar in June, he probably put up a career-best when he finished third behind Heaven’s Guest and Balty Boys in the International Handicap at Ascot on King George day, just six days before Friday’s race.  As well as not enjoying the run of the race, it may be that the Betfred Mile came up a little too quickly after his Ascot exertions.  It may also be that he is a better horse over seven furlongs than he is over a mile.  He has won three of his five races over seven or seven and a half furlongs, and he was third in the International Handicap in one of the others.  His only other run over seven furlongs was on his racecourse debut in August 2013, when he finished sixth of 13.

He will be of interest now returned to seven furlongs.  He will have to race off his new mark of 98, he was 2lb well-in racing off a mark of 96 on Friday, but that is well within his range.  He will be of particular interest returned to Ascot, where he was second on his only previous run before the International.  He was well beaten on his only run at Sandown, a track that probably doesn’t suit his hold-up style of racing.

31st July 2015