Horses To Follow » All The Aces

All The Aces

The easy ground at Newmarket on Saturday meant that the 12-furlong trip of the Listed Fred Archer Stakes was, in fact, a sufficient test of stamina to enable All The Aces post an impressive performance, producing a career-best to boot. In truth, this wasn’t a top notch listed contest in the end. The Godolphin horse, the ready-made favourite, Age Of Reason, was really weak in the market beforehand and ran accordingly, while Ed Dunlop’s horse, the progressive Wasan, was stepping up in grade and in trip. He ran adequately, but he had no answer to All The Aces’s finishing surge.

Michael Jarvis’s colt came under pressure from Michael Hills out in the middle of the track early enough in the never-ending home straight, but that was to be expected from a horse who essentially needs further than this 12-furlong trip, and he galloped on really strongly up the hill.

Now that the Jarvis horses are beginning to run into form after an uncharacteristically quiet spell, All The Aces can go on from here. Beaten just a half a length by Doctor Fremantle in the Chester Vase last year, he was fourth behind Campanologist in the King Edward VII Stakes, when he finished well after getting outpaced when they quickened around the home turn, beaten less than two lengths by the winner and finishing just over a length behind runner-up Conduit. He gave the impression that day that he would benefit from a step up in trip, easier ground, and/or a faster gallop, and he was on many shortlists for last year’s St Leger, but injury kept him off the track for the remainder of the season. Actually, we didn’t see him again until six weeks ago, when he ran a cracker to go down by just a neck to the highly talented Tastahil in the Aon Stakes at Newbury, the pair of them pulling clear of useful performers Tropical Strait and The Betchworth Kid, when All The Aces possibly tired inside the final furlong after hitting the front, which was perfectly understandable given that he was having his first run for 11 months.

Saturday’s mile and a half trip is just about a minimum for the son of Spartacus. He is in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket next Thursday, and he would be of interest in that, over the same course and distance as Saturday’s race, if the ground came up on the easy side. He is also in the Irish Field St Leger, and that is even more interesting. The 14-furlong trip should be just about right, and the ground is often on the easy side at The Curragh in mid-September. The Irish Leger is obviously a Group 1 contest, but All The Aces is still relatively lightly-raced, he is most progressive now, and he deserves a shot at a top-notch prize with conditions in his favour. If he does take his chance at The Curragh, he could be allowed go off at a decent price.

© The Irish Field, 4th July 2009