Horses To Follow » Border Patrol

Border Patrol

Put up here before as one to follow when he won his maiden at Newbury in April, Border Patrol has now won all three of the races that he has contested since, two listed races and a Group 3, but he is worthy of another mention now after he landed a hot Solonaway Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. Settled nicely out the back by Kevin Manning off a good pace that was set by Poet and Johnny Murtagh up front, he moved up nicely on the outside from the three-furlong pole, and Manning actually took a slight tug two furlongs out so as not to get there too soon. Once he asked Border Patrol to quicken, however, the response was impressive. He quickly took Rayeni’s measure and set about tackling long-time leader Poet. He headed the Ballydoyle horse at the furlong pole, but Poet fought back, he is a real battler who gets further than this mile and who is as tough as they make them. A mile on easy ground is possibly the limit of Border Patrol’s stamina – he certainly hasn’t been tested beyond that and he did have the speed to win a listed race over six furlongs – and this was his first run in 108 days, so there was a real chance that Poet was going to out-battle him. Poet had been on the sharp end the whole way, however, and, in fairness to Border Patrol, he found more inside the final 50 yards to just go on and win by a half a length from Poet, with the pair of them well clear of the third horse Zafisio. He remains hugely progressive, he has still only run five times in his life, this was a career best and he was coming into this race off a significant break, so it is more than reasonable to expect considerable improvement again. Trainer Roger Charlton is talking about running him now in the Group 2 mile race at Longchamp on Arc weekend, or in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs. If there was a little bit of juice in the ground on Arc weekend, he would be a major player in either. Looking further ahead, he looks like an ideal type for the Lockinge Stakes next season, where he should get his favoured easy ground.

13th September 2009

© The Irish Field, 19th September 2009