Horses To Follow » Moiqen


Moiqen ran a nice race to finish third behind Curtain Call in the Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. Settled towards the back by Declan McDonogh, he made nice ground up the far side in the home straight to take third spot. It never looked like he was going to catch Curtain Call, but Fran Berry rode a canny race on Luca Cumani’s horse, dictating a sedate enough pace that suited his horse and then quickening from the two furlong pole. Curtain Call is a top class colt who might well have won the Irish Derby last season had things panned out a little differently, so it is no huge disgrace to be beaten three lengths by him on the face of it. Add to that the fact that the winner was competing on his favoured soft ground and that he got the run of the race from the front, and it was a fine performance from Moiqen.

The ground was softer than ideal for Kevin Prendergast’s colt. While he won the Ballysax Stakes on good to yielding ground last year, he has always given the impression that he is a better horse on better ground. Perhaps it was because of this that he was so weak in the market before Sunday’s race, perhaps he was expected to improve for it anyway. Moiqen wasn’t a very fashionable horse last term, and he could be a bit of a forgotten horse this year. However, on Sunday’s evidence, he could be a player in some of the good middle distance races for older horses. Famous Name just got up to deny him the runner-up spot, but Dermot Weld’s horse is at his best when there is an ease in the ground, he is officially rated 12lb superior to Moiqen and he was strong in the market beforehand, sent off a solid 5/2 second favourite behind Kargali. Moiqen should be good enough to win a Group 3 race at least this term, and he could be one for the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, a race that his owner has won three times in the last four years.

3rd May 2009