Horses To Follow » Axiom


It is rare that you don’t have a couple of hard luck stories in seven-furlong handicaps at Chester, and the heritage handicap run there on Saturday was true to form. While there were a couple of horses who didn’t enjoy the run of the race, Axiom and Dhaular Dhar were the two to take out of it for me. Axiom was a little awkward coming out of the stalls, he was stone last taking the first turn after a furlong and a half, which really isn’t where you want to be in a 12-runner handicap at Chester. From there, Shane Kelly’s hands were tied. Axiom needs every yard of seven and a half furlongs, and it was always going to be difficult for him to make up ground through the field. Still stone last as they straightened up for home, he pulled wide and made ground down the home straight, running on all the way to the line and finishing best of all to take fourth place, which was an admirable performance in the circumstances.

The conditions of this race wouldn’t have suited Luca Cumani’s gelding at all. He is probably better over a mile than he is over seven and a half furlongs – he was flat to the boards from half way when he won over seven at Goodwood last time – the turning track wasn’t in his favour, and he is at his best with at least a little bit of cut in the ground, so the fact that the clerk of the course changed the official ground description from good to firm to good to firm, firm in places, before racing didn’t augur well. He remains potentially well handicapped, he is progressive, and he is one to catch over a mile when there is ease in the ground, and there is every chance that nine furlongs will be within his compass. As such, he would be an interesting Cambridgeshire contender.

22nd August 2009

© The Irish Field, 29th August 2009