Horses To Follow » Shamwari Lodge

Shamwari Lodge

Shamwari Lodge was a really impressive winner of the fillies’ mile handicap at York on Wednesday, and she looks really progressive now. I thought that she was too short on Wednesday at 3/1, giving weight to some proven performers and a couple of progressive types. I thought that she had been put in so short because she looked unlucky on her previous run in a seven-furlong handicap at Glorious Goodwood, when she was beaten three parts of a length by Suruor, but when she probably would have finished no better than second anyway had she enjoyed a clear run. Also, she was stepping up to a mile on Wednesday for the first time.

As it turned out, she stayed the trip really well. She travelled well throughout, possibly a little freely if anything, under Richard Hughes just behind the pace on the rail. Hughes took her out around the leader at the two-furlong pole, but he didn’t want to get there too early, so he sat up on her again for a couple of strides before asking her to go and win her race, which she duly did, showing a nice turn of foot, and winning with a fair bit more in hand than the winning margin. The time of the race was good, even on a day on which the tailwind and the fast ground was contributing to record-breaking times, and Shamwari Lodge left the impression that she could have gone faster if she had needed to. She stayed the mile well, and again she left the impression that she would get the trip even without the tailwind, and that opens up more options for her. The handicapper is sure to give her a fair hike for this, but it was only the seventh run of her life, and she can progress again. She is proven on fast ground and on ground with a bit of an ease in it, and she should be worth following wherever she goes next. She may be even better over a mile now than over seven furlongs.

19th August 2009