Horses To Follow » Stotsfold


Stotsfold deserves another chance after he finished second to Mac Love in the Group 3 Select Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday. It was a good move by Walter Swinburn to put Constant Cheers in the race, ostensibly as Stotsfold’s pacemaker, and sure enough, Shane Kelly took him to the front from early, and was looking around him at the three-furlong pole, presumably trying to see where Stotsfold was. However, in between, he probably didn’t go fast enough for Stotsfold. The early pace was not fast, all four horses in behind Constant Cheers wanted to go faster, the time of the race, the only group race on the card, wasn’t good, and the whole thing developed into a sprint, which played right into the hands of Mac Love, an eight-year-old with a turn of foot who was competing over 10 furlongs for the first time in his life. In fairness, you have to hand it to Mac Love, he did show a really nice turn of foot, and he ran all the way to the line, but you have to think that, with a stronger pace, Stotsfold would have got a lot closer to him than the length by which he was beaten. Stotsfold travelled keenly throughout, but he was the second last horse to come off the bridle as he took it up a furlong and a half out. Mac Love was going obviously better than him on the near side, and he did take it up off him easily enough before going two lengths clear. It looked as if Perfect Stride would take second spot off Stotsfold as well, but he kept on really well, holding off Perfect Stride’s challenge and closing on Mac Love all the way to the line. He will be marked down by many for this performance, but we know that he is a high class horse, as he proved again on his penultimate run to finish third in the Arlington Million, he just needs a good pace over a mile and two furlongs, and ideally fast ground. As long as the good weather continues, there is a race in him yet before the season is out.

12th September 2009