Horses To Follow » Duncan


Duncan turned what looked like a really competitive City and Suburban Handicap into a bit of a procession at Epsom on Wednesday. Of course it helps when you have the ammunition, but Jimmy Fortune is one of those jockeys who keeps things as simple as he can and, from his draw in stall 11, he was able to adopt a good position in midfield on the outside of the field. There wasn’t that strong a gallop on early, which didn’t favour those horses who were held up in behind, but with no horses on his outside, Fortune was able to make his move when he wanted. He moved up around two and a half furlongs out, joined the front rank at the furlong pole, steered clear of the hard luck stories between himself and the inside rail – and there were those, Sweet Lightning and Ramona Chase among them – and came clear inside the final furlong to win impressively.

This was Duncan’s debut for John Gosden. He had looked good in landing his maiden at Pontefract for John Dunlop last September, but he was largely disappointing in two subsequent starts last backend at Newmarket. He was well supported last Wednesday, he was obviously impressing somebody at home, and his performance against really high class handicappers was a significant step up on anything he did last season. He is out of a mare who was essentially a miler, who finished third in the Coronation Stakes, but she has already produced Samuel, who won a listed race over a mile and six at York last summer, so there is every chance that Duncan will progress again as he steps up in trip. The handicapper has raised him 8lb to a mark of 107, but that may be largely irrelevant now anyway. He should progress to pattern company now, and he should be worth following.

22nd April 2009