Horses To Follow » Alandi


This is the third time that Alandi has appeared here in as many runs, but you couldn’t get away from the fact that he is still worth following after his run in the Curragh Cup last Saturday. Mick Kinane had to niggle him along going around the home turn, but the fast pace that Mad Rush had set and the easy ground were all in his favour, and you knew that he would pick up in the home straight, which he duly did. The eventual winner Profound Beauty was travelling better than Alandi at the two-furlong pole, but Alandi was just beginning to pick up when the Ballydoyle horse Yankee Doodle rolled to his left, closing the gap – which had been at least three horse-widths wide – between him and Profound Beauty, with the result that Kinane had to snatch Alandi up, switch to the near side and start again. The rider wasn’t overly hard on the son of Galileo after that, but he still finished with a flourish, failing by just a neck to catch Profound Beauty.

It is difficult to be dogmatic about these things, but it is also difficult to argue that Alandi would not have won had his momentum not been checked at a crucial stage of the race. He is not a horse who is blessed with an instant turn of foot, he is a galloper, a grinder, so when he was stopped in his tracks like he was, when he lost the momentum that he had been building up, it was a huge disadvantage, in that Kinane couldn’t just stand on the breaks and then apply instant acceleration again. In fairness to the Dermot Weld-trained winner, it was a fine performance from her on her seasonal debut, her first run since she finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup last November, and a repeat bid is on the cards, which is hardly surprising. She deserves another crack at it.

Both the winner and the second, and even the third, Yankee Doodle, causer of the interference but still only a head behind Alandi, emerge from the race with a lot of credit. It was run at a decent pace throughout, and the time of the race was good, the best of the day, on a day of high class racing at The Curragh, and bang on standard time for the distance when the going allowance is deducted. However, while there is no doubt that Profound Beauty will have her supporters if and when she meets Alandi again, given that she will probably improve for this run, if they do meet again, I will almost certainly be on Alandi. John Oxx’s colt has run just four times in his life, he is still learning, and he still leaves the impression that there is a great deal of untapped ability there. He is in the Irish Field St Leger in mid-September, and he will be of huge interest in that for me, especially if the ground comes up on the easy side.

27th June 2009