Horses To Follow » From Dawn To Dusk

From Dawn To Dusk

From Dawn To Dusk put in a fine performance on his first run since October 2007 when he finished second in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap hurdle at Newbury on Friday. Settled just behind the front rank by Richard Johnson, Philip Hobbs’s gelding travelled really well into the home straight behind his stable companion Cousin Nicky. Indeed, at that point it looked like Hobbs might have had the 1-2-3 as Chance Du Roy was travelling noticeably well in behind that pair. From Dawn To Dusk took it up over the second last and looked to be travelling best of all, but he was just run out of it on the run-in by the strong-finishing Jim Old horse Gala Evening, and went down by three parts of a length in the end.

It was significant that From Dawn To Dusk was weak in the market before this race. More than that, in a pre-race interview, Philip Hobbs was asked if From Dawn To Dusk was the main hope of his three runners, and he was fairly reticent, suggesting that Chance Du Roy could go well at a big price. Indeed, that horse ran very well also, travelling too freely through the early stages and arriving there going well three out before his earlier exertions took their toll and he faded to finish in mid division. He can improve significantly on this if he learns to settle better.

Back to From Dawn To Dusk, it is difficult to tell from the television screen, but it looked like, physically, he would come on for the run, which is hardly surprising given that he had been off the track for 16 months. A decent novice chaser two seasons ago, the last time we saw the son of Afzal, in October 2007, he battled on well to get the better of Leading Contender in a two-mile-five-furlong handicap hurdle at Cheltenham, the pair of them finishing clear of their rivals. That rival, another stable companion, went on to win a Pertemps Qualifier off a mark that was effectively a stone higher.

From Dawn To Dusk is now 10, but he is still relatively lightly raced, and there should be at least a decent handicap hurdle in him. If he takes his chance in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on 13th March, given his course form, he could be a real player. As long as the handicapper isn’t too hard on him for this, which he shouldn’t be, current odds of 33/1 about him for that contest with a run are big.

27th February, 2009