Horses To Follow » Workforce


There was a lot to like about the performance that Sir Michael Stoute’s newcomer Workforce put up in landing the seven-furlong maiden at Goodwood on Wednesday. Drawn widest of all of the 12 runners in stall one, usually a big disadvantage over seven furlongs at Goodwood, he missed the break and Ryan Moore was able to move him over in behind the field, but he was second last and just being nudged into the bridle as they climbed up to the home turn. The early pace wasn’t frenetic, so it wasn’t necessarily a huge advantage to be held up in behind, but the son of King’s Best began to progress for Moore’s encouragings from the top of the home straight. Passing the two-furlong pole, he moved over to the far rail to get more racing room, but none of it was easy, Moore was pushing away without perhaps asking the colt for everything. A furlong and a half out, however, his progress was significant, and he improved to join the leader Oasis Dancer passing the furlong pole. From there, he impressed greatly. He quickly moved on from Oasis Dancer, putting a distance of ground between himself and his pursuers in a matter of strides. His attitude was wholly likeable, his big white face appearing to grow in enthusiasm as he grabbed the ground and surged clear of his rivals under just a hands and heels ride, winning by six lengths in the end. The time wasn’t at all bad for a juvenile and the second and third, who had both had the benefit of a run, were well fancied and well backed, so the form looks fairly solid.

Of course, the expectation is that Workforce will improve considerably from this, and that is not an unreasonable expectation, given that he raced greenly throughout, not appearing to be entirely sure of what was being asked of him until he struck the front inside the final furlong. He was probably a little out-paced as well, this seven-furlong trip is probably an absolute minimum for him, being out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Soviet Moon, a half-sister to St Leger winner Brian Boru, and a half-brother to Extreme Impact, who was placed over a mile and six furlongs. He is not in the Racing Post Trophy, which is a shame as he would have been of interest for that, but he should be worth noting if he runs again this season, ideally over a mile or further. Next year, he is more a potential candidate for the Derby than the Guineas.

23rd September 2009