Horses To Follow » High Standing

High Standing

High Standing ran out a very nice winner of the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes run over six furlongs at Newbury on Saturday. Held up off the pace in the early stages behind a decent pace that was set by War Artist, he and the leader were the only two still on the bridle a fulong and a half out. He improved impressively through his field, then picked up nicely when Ryan Moore asked him, to win going away.

Winner of the Wokingham at Royal Ascot in June off a mark of 96, this was another step up on that form, although he was helped by the fact that War Artist, the proven class in the race, probably blew up inside the final furlong on his first run of the season. Nevertheless, High Standing did this well. He is most progressive now. He has won all four of his starts this season to date, each one represented a significant step forward on what had gone before, and there is no telling how high he could go now. He is still in the Stewards’ Cup, but trainer William Haggas has now ruled that out as an option, which makes sense. There is little doubt that he is better than a handicapper, and we know that, historically, there is very little between the top sprint handicappers and the top sprinters period. His new rating of 112, a 7lb hike, still leaves him with a little bit to find on the book with the very top sprinters (Fleeting Spirit is rated 121, Paco Boy is 124), but he is so progressive that there is every chance he will find it. He is in the Haydock Sprint Cup on 5th September, and that looks like the most logical target for him now. He should be a major player in that contest if he takes his chance in it.

18th July 2009