Horses To Follow » Tamarind


Tamarind put up a really nice performance to win the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes at Cork on Monday. The third choice of the three Aidan O’Brien filies according to the market, and actually sent off the 20/1 outsider of the entire field, she travelled well through the early stages under Colm O’Donoghue, towards the rear of the field. Still travelling well enough as most of her rivals came off the bridle early in the home straight, she moved up nicely on the outsider of her pace-setting stable companion Russian Empress with two furlongs to go. At that point, her other stable companion, Perfect Truth, loomed up on her outside, as both Beauty O’Gwaun and Dance Pass both looked threatening out even deeper on the track, but Tamarind dug deep under the O’Donoghue drive, and stayed on gallantly to assert her superiority, going away again inside the final 25 yards.
This was a huge step up from Tamarind on anything that she had done before, and she looks really progressive now. After finishing in mid-division when weak in the market in a maiden at Gowran Park in May, she was pitched into Group 3 company a couple of weeks later on just her second over start, running well but doing no more than just keeping on to finish fifth behind Beauty O’Gwaun in the Blue Wins Stakes at Naas. That was a decent enough race, however, fully deserving of its Group 3 status, and the winner was immediately marked down as a candidate for the Epsom Oaks. We didn’t see her after that until a couple of weeks ago, when she stayed on well to land her maiden at Tipperary over a mile and a half. It wasn’t a great maiden, but, like on Sunday, there was a lot to like about her attitude that day. She took it up early and simply galloped her rivals into submission, staying on well on the soft ground and looking stronger as the race developed.
A daughter of Sadler’s Wells out of Darshaan mare, Tamarind is a full-sister to Crimson Tide, a Group 2 winner over a mile and a Group 3 winner over a mile and a half, who handled soft ground well. Her dam is a half-sister to Shahrastani, and she has already produced a winner over a mile and six, so it is not surprising that Tamarind is not lacking for stamina. She is still in the Yorkshire Oaks, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if O’Brien decided to allow her take her chance in that. She looks like one of his best middle distance fillies now. The race that I would love to see her run in, however, more than the Yorkshire Oaks, is the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes over a mile and six at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting. It is interesting that last year’s Give Thanks winner, Unsung Heroine, finished second in the St Leger on her subsequent start, and then got beaten a head in a Group 2 race at Newmarket in October on her only other run. Tamarind has a long way to go to prove that she is that good, but she is highly progressive, and she might not be too far off that level in time.

3rd August 2009

© The Irish Field, 8th August 2009