Horses To Follow » Dream Eater

Dream Eater

Dream Eater ran a cracker in the Topkapi Trophy, a Turkish Group 2 contest, at Veliefendi last Thursday to go down by just a head in the end to Pressing. Settled out the back and towards the outside by William Buick in the early stages, he switched to the inside as they approached the home turn. Still second last as they began the long sweeping turn for home, he got a dream run up the rails and actually hit the front fully two furlongs out. Buick went for home from there as Pressing moved over towards him from the centre of the track to give chase and the pair of them pulled clear. As they crossed the 200-yard mark, Dream Eater surged ahead, going fully a length in front and looking all set to land the prize. He began to visibly weaken from about 100 yards out, however, as Pressing got stronger, and the older horse just got up and put his head down on the line.

It is difficult to gauge the quality of the domestic horses, but this was a fine performance from Dream Eater rated through the foreigners. Pressing is a high class individual, rated 118, who won this race last year and came into it this year in fine form, having won a Group 1 contest in Germany on his previous start. He was sent off at long odds-on for this, and the front pair finished well clear of their field. In that field, in fifth, was Hatta Fort, who boasts a rating of 110 but who admittedly hasn’t been in great for this term (although he hadn’t run since the Godolphin horses began to hit form), and Rock Of Rochelle, who finished third behind High Standing and Asset in the Wokingham off a mark of 108.

On the face of it, it was in Dream Eater’s favour that he got such a nice run up the rail, but it may have counted against him, as it left him in front far sooner than ideal for a horse who has his quirks. It is possible that, had Buick been able to delay his run for longer, he would have won. Also, he is probably better over seven furlongs anyway than over this mile. That said, there was a lot to like about the attitude that he displayed, the quirks that were in evidence on his previous run in the City of York Stakes were absent here, possibly because he raced out in the centre of the track at York and seemed to want to go to his left and to his right. He had a rail against which to race on Thursday, and that seemed to help him. As a footnote, that York race looks even better now than it did then with Confront, the horse with whom Dream Eater dead-heated, running out an impressive winner of a listed race at Haydock on Saturday.

There is a chance that this run from Dream Eater will be under-rated as it took place on Turkish soil and not British or Irish, and there is a chance, therefore, that he will be allowed go off at a bigger price than he should be the next time he races at home. He may have been marked down as a bit dodgy by most people, but he looks like an improved performer on his last two runs, now that the penny seems to be dropping. He is in the Diadem Stakes at Ascot at the end of September. I am not sure about him over six furlongs nor at Ascot. He has raced there five times, albeit in good company most times, and he has never won. I would prefer see him race over seven furlongs next but, wherever he does go next, he should be well worth a second look.

3rd September 2009