Horses To Follow » War Artist

War Artist

The other horse to take out of the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, as well as the winner High Standing, was the fourth horse home, War Artist. A really classy performer, a Grade 1 winner in South Africa, and a top class sprinter last season who was good enough to finish second in the Golden Jubilee and third in the July Cup, this was his first run since that July Cup run just over a year previously. He had had a bout of colic, and his seasonal reappearance had been further delayed by the ground, so it was almost certain that he was going to need this run, especially on the easy ground, and that is how it looked. He proved that he hadn’t lost any of his speed, however, as he took them along, travelling easily, until a furlong and a half out. At that point, he traded at long odds-on in-running, but he was found wanting for race fitness inside the final furlong, and he faded to finish third, after trading at 1/50 for a place in-running.

This race will have brought him on significantly. It is a little bit of a worry that he still hasn’t won in six tries for James Eustace since he arrived from South Africa, but he has been highly tried, and there is not reason to believe that he doesn’t give his all. He will be better suited by better ground as well. His trainer is targetting a conditions contest at Doncaster for him next. He should win that and be able to use it as a stepping stone towards some of the more lucrative sprint prizes later in the summer.

18th July 2009