Horses To Follow » Doctor Fremantle

Doctor Fremantle

Doctor Fremantle put up what was probably the best performance of his career to land what is aspirationally called the Arc Trial at Newbury on Friday. Held up out the back off what was no more than a steady pace, set by Campanologist, helped by Look Here, Doctor Fremantle’s two main market rivals, he began to make headway behind the front two three furlongs out, but he ran out of racing room on the rail at the two-furlong pole, with the result that Ryan Moore had to angle him out and start again. He looked long odds against entering the final furlong, as he was trying to make up ground on a pair of Group 1 performers into a quickening pace, but he got there, just, by a nose from Look Here as Campanologist faded a length back in third.

Even on the form book, this was a huge effort from Sir Michael Stoute’s colt. He was rated 3lb inferior to Look Here, yet he was giving her 8lb, he was rated 1lb inferior to Campanologist, yet he was giving him 2lb, and he beat them both. More than that, however, he can be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of the race, given that he didn’t enjoy the run of it, and he may be under-rated now. He has always been a high class performer. As short as 11/2 when fourth in New Approach’s Derby last year after he had won the Chester Vase, he didn’t win again last term, and was most disappointing in the Leger, but the easy ground and the extended distance may have found him out. His first two runs this season weren’t overly encouraging either, when he just scraped home from Staying On in a Group 3 race at Chester in May, and when he was well beaten in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. As a result, he was allowed go off at 8/1 for the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting, but he was impressive in winning there, if only getting home by a half a length from the subsequently disqualified Schiaparelli. He gave the impression that day that he had a fair bit more in hand than the winning margin. He missed the Juddmonte International, which is sponsored by his owner, and we didn’t see him again until Friday when his performance represented another step forward on his Princess of Wales’s run. He has the profile now of one of those Sir Michael Stoute horses who improves with age. He could be an even better five-year-old than he is a four-year-old if he is kept in training next year. His dam is a half-sister to Raintrap, who won a Grade 1 contest at Santa Anita at the age of six. In the meantime, it could pay to follow him if he runs again this season, ideally on good or fast ground over 11 or 12 furlongs.

18th September 2009