Horses To Follow » Above Limits

Above Limits

Above Limits ran a cracker to finish third in the Listed Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster on Wednesday. Bounced out of the stalls by Cathy Gannon, the only juvenile in the race, she showed impressive early pace to lead both Inxile and Moorhouse Lad through fast early fractions. It looked like Inxile had taken her measure on the far side passing the two-furlong pole, he looked to be travelling easily and he went at least a head or a neck up, but Above Limits found lots when Gannon asked her, and she was back in front by the furlong pole. Dandy Man challenged wider out and Spin Cycle got going on the near side, but it still looked as if the filly was going to hold them all off until Strike The Deal finished like a train from last place and fully four lengths behind passing the furlong pole to take it up inside the last 30 yards and win going away, with Spin Cycle just putting his nose down on the line to deny Above Limits of the runner-up spot.

This was a huge effort from the Exceed And Excel filly. She had put in her best previous performance on her previous run to finish third behind the highly talented fillies Sand Vixen and Shamandar in a listed race at Newbury in the middle of August, when she had again tried to make all, but this was a significant step forward even on that. She was getting plenty of weight from her elders 25lb from the winner – but it was to her immense credit that she was able to match the liked of Inxile and Moorhouse Lad for early pace (that pair finished fifth and seventh respectively of the nine runners), and still be able to stick on as well as she did to be beaten just a length by a talented performer who had the race run to suit. She will be even better on a track that favours early pace over the minimum trip, like Epsom or York, but she should be worth a second look wherever she goes next.

9th September 2009