Horses To Follow » Gallagher


Gallagher ran a fine race on his seasonal debut in the Jersey Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday. Slowly away, although probably intentionally, Brian Meehan’s colt was a bit keen through the early stages, which was understandable on his first run for 257 days. Stone last at half way, he made nice progress among horses from the three-furlong marker, and he arrived there in the firing line looking a real threat a furlong and a half out. At that point, he still had about a half a length in hand of the eventual winner Ouqba. However, lack of a recent run seemed to tell from the furlong market up the hill to the line, and he couldn’t maintain the forward momentum, ultimately just keeping on to finish fourth, about four lengths behind the winner.

Jockey bookings for the Jersey didn’t scream a positive message for Gallagher. Jimmy Fortune, who had rode the colt in his last four races last season, was on Lock Linnhe for his boss John Gosden, while Jamie Spencer was on Meehan’s other representative, Narsi. Nevertheless, this was more than encouraging from Gallagher. While he made his move in amongst horses, he did drift to his right inside the final furlong, out into the middle of the track, which was not ideal as, all week, it looked like there was at least a slight advantage to be gained from racing close to the stands rail. Gallagher can go on from this though. He was a high class juvenile last season, winning his maiden impressively at Chepstow in July, then finishing second in two Group 2 contests and a Group 1 before disappointing in the Middle Park. He has obviously had his problems this season, and it is not ideal to be making your seasonal debut at Royal Ascot, but on this evidence, we know that he has at least trained on, and he should be at least up to winning a Group race this term. He should be worth following next time.

17th June 2009