Past Winners » South Easter


This is not a good renewal of the Dee Stakes, and it is worth taking a chance with South Easter at the prices. He was noted very much as a horse to follow here after his racecourse debut at Newbury on Greenham Stakes day last month, when he ran Border Patrol to three parts of a length in a maiden that is almost always strongly-contested, after getting loose before the start. In fairness, he didn’t appear to take that much out of himself, but it was still a fair effort from a horse who was apparently unfancied, with the front two pulling clear of another well-though-of individual, Ebiayn.

South Easter was a 200,000gns yearling who is obviously highly regarded by William Haggas, given that he holds a Derby entry. He is a May foal, so there should be significant improvement forthcoming, and the fact that Haggas is pitching him into a Group 3 contest on just his second run is significant. The trainer doesn’t usually do that kind of thing unless he feels that the horse is up to it. The fast ground is an unknown, but his half-brother First Buddy has won on good to firm. He is by Galileo from the family of Golden Fleece, so he should be well suited by the step up in trip from a mile to 10 furlongs and he is worth backing at 15/2.

Drumbeat is obviously the one with the form on the board, he was only beaten a half a length by his stable companion Fame And Glory in a Group 1 contest at Saint-Cloud last back-end, but he is looking fairly exposed already, and it was disappointing that he couldn’t get closer to Redwood in the Fielden Stakes at Newmarket last month. That said, he will probably come on for the run and the Ballydoyle horses are beginning to get going now, so he has to be favourite for this, but he is short enough at 6/4.

Gitano Hernando is the other horse that I considered backing at 11/2. Marco Botti’s colt didn’t appear until last October, but he raced three times last year, winning his maiden at Wolverhampton on his final start. He stayed on well to win a handicap at Doncaster off a mark of 84 on his debut this season, and he should progress from there. He could go close but, at the relative prices, South Easter is the bet.