Horses To Follow » Cannonball


American raider Cannonball ran an eye-catching race in the King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday. Totally outpaced and last through the first two furlongs – he was actually two lengths behind the second last horse at the two-furlong pole – he picked up impressive through the closing stages on the near side to be closest at the finish. He was beaten about five lengths in the end, but the five-furlong trip was obviously far too sharp for him. He was actually third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf as a two-year-old two years ago and he has never won over five furlongs. He had run well over the trip before, but you had to think that he wanted further than the minimum distance.

He confirmed that impression in the Golden Jubilee over six furlongs on Saturday. They didn’t seem to go a great gallop through the early stages of the race, and Cannonball couldn’t go with them when they picked up at the three-furlong pole. They didn’t go away from him, but he didn’t start making inroads until well inside the final quarter mile, by which stage the eventual winner Art Connoisseur had passed him and gone for home. Nothing finished better than Cannonball, however, and he reduced the deficit to a neck at the line, despite the fact that he was out in the middle of the track while Art Connoisseur had the rail to help him. It is a pity that Cannonball is not going to take his chance in the July Cup. The uphill finish on Newmarket’s July course would have suited him ideally, and you have to think that they will go faster through the early stages of that race than they did here. He is still worth keeping in mind for the next time he visits these shores. He will only be five next year and he could still be under-rated.

16th June 2009