Horses To Follow » Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter

It looked like Brief Encounter had a lot to do passing the two-furlong pole in the seven-furlong handicap at York on Wednesday, probably too much. The plan had apparently to be handy, but he got bumped and shuffled back early on, with the result that he was still no better than second last with a quarter of a mile to run. From there, however, he produced a really impressive burst of speed on the outside that saw him get up to beat the favourite Photographic and Hartley by a neck.

This was Andrew Balding’s gelding’s second start of the season and just the fifth of his life. Nicely progressive last term, he ran an encouraging race on his debut this term at Newbury when stepped up to seven furlongs for the first time, staying on well inside the final furlong to finish sixth behind Makaamen on ground that was probably soft enough for him. His York performance was a big step up on that, and he is progressive enough to improve again now by more than the 7lb by which the handicapper has raised him. They are talking about the Britannia Handicap for him now at Royal Ascot, which is interesting, and he should be competitive in that off his new mark of 90. He is probably a fair bit better than the bare form of his York win, and he is an exciting prospect.

13th May 2009