Horses To Follow » Youmzain


Youmzain turned into the home straight in the Dubai Sheema Classic on the rails, disputing last place with the eventual winner Eastern Anthem. The only difference was that Eastern Anthem was on the outside and had an un-checked passage to the front which, as it turned out, was to his advantage, despite the fact that he had to race four horse-widths wide around the home turn. Youmzain, on the other hand, began his challenge on the rail and had to negotiate his way between horses. Angled off the rail as soon as they straightened up by Richard Hills, he went for a gap between Red Rocks and King Of Rome, which closed, with the result that Hills had to snatch him up and start again. At that stage, he was fully six lengths behind the leaders and had lost all momentum, yet he picked up remarkably well, picked his way through his field and emerged in a clear fourth, closing the gap on the three horses who were separated by a nostril all the way to the line.

Youmzain’s style of running will always leave him susceptible to ill-luck, and you will end up in the soup kitchen if you continue to follow unlucky horses. There is usually a reason why they are unlucky, and they will probably be unlucky again because of it. That said, Youmzain has not landed the prizes that his ability deserves, and he is an under-rated horse as a result. He was unlucky not to get a lot closer to Zarkava than the two lengths by which he was beaten in the Arc last season, a fact that has gone largely under the radar. It may be significant that, on his first run last season, also in the Dubai Sheema Classic, he finished a disappointing fifth behind Sun Classique. His run on Saturday was a big step forward on that and it could be that, at the age of six, he is ready to land the prizes that his ability deserves. He should be a major player in all the top middle distance races this season and, as a largely unfashionable six-year-old, he will probably be under-rated and over-priced.

28th March, 2009