Horses To Follow » Tranquil Tiger

Tranquil Tiger

I’m not sure that people have yet cottoned on to the fact that Tranquil Tiger is a pacey horse now, not a stayer, and he confirmed as much again when he landed the Listed Festival Stakes over 10 furlongs at Goodwood on Monday. It was mildly surprising that the John Gosden favourite Made To Ransom took him on for the lead in the early stages, but it didn’t seem to faze Henry Cecil’s horse at all. He settled nicely just behind the leader up to the home turn, then showed a nice turn of pace at the top of the home straight to take four lengths out of his field, still apparently on the steel. Suddenly, the race looked over as a contest as every other horse came under pressure and Tranquil Tiger just seemed to bound along in front under a fairly inactive Tom Queally. Halicarnasus came out of the pack to mount a challenge of sorts, and he did get to within a neck of the winner, but it never looked likely that he would catch him, and the narrow margin of victory was probably as much a function of the winner idling – he has idled in front before – as it tying up, and he was probably value for a fair bit more than the bare winning margin.

This looks like his distance and this looks like his grade. Made To Ransom did disappoint, but there were really decent yardsticks like Ordnance Row, Illustrious Blue and Charlie Farnsbarns in there, top listed class performers, and Tranquil Tiger beat them well in a good time. Although he won the Aston Park Stakes over a mile and three quarters at Newbury at this time last year, the son of Selkirk actually shaped like a non-stayer when he finished fifth behind Sixties Icon over a mile and a half in a Group 3 contest at Glorious Goodwood last year, looking set for second spot until he was caught by the closers inside the final 50 yards. The blinkers that he has worn on his last four runs now are probably helping him a little, and he can go on now from this. He is worth a shot at a Group 3 contest next, ideally over 10 furlongs, with nine furlongs preferred to 12. He is not a fashionable horse, he may have a reputation as being a bit of a monkey among some, and he may continue to be under-rated as a result.

25th May 2009