Horses To Follow » Midnight Sapphire
Midnight Sapphire was a little unlucky in the two-and-a-half-mile mares’ hurdle at Sandown last Saturday. Well back in the field early on, she made a bad mistake at the second last flight in the back straight just as the pace was increasing. Back on the bridle as they rounded the home turn, she travelled well on the far side to the second last, but she was squeezed for room over that flight and had to check back and move to the outside. By the time she did, the ultimate winner, the well-backed Tullow Tonic, had moved into the lead, travelling easily, and looked by far the most likely winner. But Midnight Sapphire rallied from that point, and she closed on the leader over the last and all the way up the run-in to get to within a head of her by the time they reached the winning line.
It was a fine run by Victor Dartnall’s mare. Tullow Tonic had won her previous two, she was strongly backed for Saturday’s race, and Midnight Sapphire ran her very close, the pair of them pulling nicely clear of their rivals. The winner may have been idling on the run-in, but there is still a good chance that, had the runner-up enjoyed a little more luck in-running, she would have won. Midnight Sapphire has had plenty of racing, but she is still only six and she looks like a seriously improved mare this season. She has now won two of her last four races and finished second in the other two. The handicapper raised her 5lb for this, to a mark of 119, but that mark may still under-estimate her ability.
3rd December 2016