Horses To Follow » Mullein


Mullein ran out a ready winner of the Listed fillies’ race at Pontefract on Sunday. Settled well out the back and switched in behind runners towards the inside rail by Seb Sanders after they have gone a furlong off the back of a fairly frenetic early pace, there is little doubt that she had the run of the race. The fast pace was in her favour, given that she needs to be covered up in her races, she got a nice gap on the rail leaving the back straight and she got a lovely gap just outside the leader Pusey Street Lady when they straightened up. Once she got the split, however, she made the most of it, bounding clear up Pontefract’s hill to win by almost four lengths from the favourite Bouvardia, a progressive filly of Henry Cecil’s who won two handicaps at the start of the summer and came into this race with a rating of 98, 7lb higher than Mullein, from whom she was receiving 3lb.

This was a really useful performance from Mullein in a good time. She ran a bit freely at Newmarket on her penultimate run before Sunday when she was a disappointing favourite, and it all happened a little quickly for her when she raced against the stands rail in the Sky Bet Dash won by Knot In Wood at the end of last month. She was much more at home at this stiff track and off a fast pace. Her trainer Ralph Beckett, whose horses are now running into form after a quiet spell, always thought that she wanted easy ground to be at her best, but she handled this fast ground well, and it may be that she needs a stiff six furlongs. A half-sister to Illustrious Blue, who won a Group 3 race over a mile and a half at Glorious Goodwood, on this evidence she should get seven furlongs okay, and perhaps even a mile if she settled over that distance. She should be worth following now, but she does appear to need a stiff six at a minimum.

16th August 2009