Horses To Follow » Noble Citizen

Noble Citizen

As well as the winner Golden Desert, the runner-up Noble Citizen is the other one to take out of the seven-furlong handicap at Goodwood on Saturday for me. Usually a front-runner, he couldn’t lead on Saturday with Dunn’o in the line-up and better-drawn, so Stephen Donohoe was content to sit just behind the leader and on his outside, not the ideal position for a front-runner to be in. Even so, he travelled easily throughout, he didn’t seem to be too perturbed by not being able to lead. He did come under pressure at the two-furlong pole when most of those around him were just being nudged along, but he found lots. It always looked likely that he was going to get the better of Dunn’o, and if Golden Desert hadn’t been sweeping down the outside, you would have labelled Noble Citizen as the most likely winner when he struck the front a half a furlong out, but he had no answer to the finishing surge of Golden Desert. The winner won with more in hand than the winning margin, but he is really progressive now and he had the run of the race, whereas Noble Citizen raced up with the fast pace the whole way, and even at that he finished two lengths clear of Dunn’o, who was third, and who in turn was two lengths clear of the remainder. The handicapper has raised him 2lb for this to a mark of 91, which is fine, and which is still 7lb below the mark of 98 in which he basked when he returned from Dubai at the start of the season. It has taken him a little while to get going this term since his return but, now that he has his eye in, he should be interesting wherever he goes next. This trip of seven furlongs seems to suit him well, but he is also effective over six, as he showed when he only just gave best to Mac Gille Eoin after his jockey had lost his whip, in a Class 3 event at Epsom on Derby weekend.

12th September 2009