Horses To Follow » Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel

No prizes for originality, but Alfred Nobel was a really impressive winner of the Railway Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. It looked for a few strides at the two-furlong pole that he might get boxed in behind the two leaders as King Ledley moved up on his outside, but Johnny Murtagh was alive to the danger, and Alfred Nobel had the strength to ease the Prendergast horse to his left in order to engineer a clear passage for himself. After that, it was all plain sailing. He showed a nice turn of foot to take it up from Love Lockdown and Kitty Kiernan up a furlong and a half out and dealt fairly easily with King Ledley’s challenge before pricking his ears and looking up at the stands inside the final 200 yards. He gave the impression that he had a lot more left to give.

This was just the fourth run of the Danehill Dancer colt’s life. He was an impressive winner of his maiden at Leopardstown over seven furlongs on good ground at the end of May, and he had no difficulty dropping down to six furlongs and racing on slightly easier ground on Sunday. Aidan O’Brien has now won 11 of the last 13 renewals of the Railway Stakes – a quite incredible record in a Group 2 juvenile contest – and it was significant that he relied on Alfred Nobel here, despite the fact that Steinbeck had ostensibly been re-routed from the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in order to contest it. It may not have been a vintage renewal of the Railway Stakes in the end, but Alfred Nobel did it well. O’Brien has won the race with some of his top horses in the past, including King Of Kings, Rock Of Gibraltar, Holy Roman Emperor and George Washington, and if Alfred Nobel is even close to some of those in terms of ability, he is a hugely exciting prospect.

28th June 2009