Horses To Follow » Firebet


Firebet put up a really useful performance to land quite a competitive 10-furlong three-year-olds’ handicap at Newmarket on Thursday. He was keen enough through the early stages under Paul Hanagan, and he was far enough back early in the home straight as his rider endeavoured to get him settled. Taken towards the near side two and a half furlongs out, he picked up impressively once in the clear. He didn’t hit the front until well inside the final furlong, when they met the rising ground, but he seemed to relish the uphill finish and he powered clear to win impressively, getting stronger the further he went and winning by about two lengths in the end.

There were several things to like about this performance from Richard Fahey’s colt. The manner of it was impressive, he showed a really willing attitude and he ran all the way to the line. Actually, Hanagan had difficulty pulling him up before he reached the new end to the July Course. As well as that, the time was good, and the right horses followed him home, with the well-backed unexposed favourite from the Stoute yard finishing second, and another well-backed progressive type, Roman Republic, finishing third. This was Firebet’s third win on the trot. This was by far his best performance, the hottest company in which he has raced and the highest mark off which he has competed (100, 15lb higher than the mark off which he started this season and 6lb higher than his previous highest winning mark). He had to give weight to all but one of his rivals, and he did so with ease. Significantly, this was his first attempt at 10 furlongs, and it looks like the step up in distance brought about even further improvement. He is progressive anyway. Apparently he goes for a Group 2 race at Maisons-Laffitte next, and he could easily be up to that standard.

9th July 2009