Horses To Follow » Primitivo
Primitivo ran out an impressive winner of the finale at Royal Ascot on Thursday, the King George V Handicap, but he was value for even more than the bare form of his performance suggests.
He settled nicely in mid-division for Willy Twiston-Davies, but on two occasions he had to check back, and he consequently lost position and momentum: once down the side of the track when he and Frankie Dettori on Shraaoh went for the same position, and once on the run to the home turn.
Even so, and although he was being niggled along on the outside on the run around the home turn, it very quickly became apparent that he had plenty of energy left. His rider sat up on him for a couple of strides, then asked him to pick up and, when he did, the response was impressive. He hit the front but, as he did, he moved to his right. Platitude also picked up and challenged him towards the far side but, as soon as Twiston-Davies switched his whip into his left hand, Primitivo straightened up and ran on strongly all the way to the line, putting three lengths between himself and Platitude, who in turn came three lengths clear of the third horse Harrison.
It was a really good performance by the winner. This was a strong 12-furlong handicap, the King George V Stakes usually is, and the time was good, a full five seconds faster than the Ribblesdale, and Alan King’s horse won well. This was his fourth win on the bounce, he just continues to progress, and he should be able to progress again. He left the impression that he was winning here with plenty in hand.
Rated 87 when he won the Sandown handicap that the 2014 King George V Handicap winner Elite Army also won, he was racing on Thursday off a mark of 95. He will be raised another few pounds for this, but he has a really nice progressive profile now. He stays this 12-furlong trip well, his dam also won over 12 furlongs, and he shapes as if he could improve for stepping up again in trip, but he will be of interest wherever he goes next.
16th June 2016