Horses To Follow » Axiom


Axiom was the eye-catcher in the Whitsun Cup, the Class 3 mile handicap at Sandown on Thursday evening. Settled just behind the front rank in the early stages, he was short of racing room two and a half furlongs out when the leader Dun’no went for home. Dane O’Neill had to sit and suffer as Unshakable and Shamali dropped back in front of him. He moved to look for a gap outside Shamali, then had to switch back inside as that wasn’t readily materialising. By the time he got a clear passage towards the inside, they only had a furlong and a half left to run and he had around four lengths to make up on the leader. He wasn’t quite able to do it, but he did get to within a half a length at the line, and that was a fine achievement against a talented individual who was given an astute ride by Philip Robinson and who wasn’t stopping.

Axiom has run well on his seasonal debut in the past. Indeed, he won on his debut last season, but that was on soft ground. He has raced six times on ground that was softer than good, winning three times, finishing second once, third once, and fifth in a competitive handicap at Doncaster on his final start last season, over seven furlongs, when he looked like the most likely winner a furlong and a half out. He was really weak in the market before Thursday’s race, presumably as people began to realise that the ground was riding on the fast side of good. This was a strong race – the time was much faster than Border Patrol clocked in the Listed Heron Stakes run over the same course and distance a half an hour earlier – and Axiom should be worth backing the next time he races over a mile on easy ground.

28th May 2009