Horses To Follow » Vale Of York

Vale Of York

The other horse to take out of the Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, as well as the winner Joshua Tree, was the third horse Vale Of York. They went a fast pace through the early part of the race, with the result that it was probably set up for those held up in behind, like the winner Joshua Tree and the runner-up Waseet. It is probable, conversely, that the race wasn’t run to suit Vale Of York, who raced handily throughout. Drawn towards the outside in stall four, Ahmed Ajtebi was eager to join in the early scrum for the lead, with the result that the Godolphin horse was lit up and couldn’t get cover out wide all the way down the side of the course. The horse was still visible pulling for his head as his rider tried to restrain him after three furlongs. Widest of all around the home turn with the exception of the winner, who came from behind him, Vale Of York was suddenly no better than fifth straightening for home. He had no answer to Joshua Tree’s impressive surge down the near side, but he still picked up well again to stay with the winner for a long time, which was a wholly commendable effort after he had expended so much energy through the early part of the race. On top of that, he was squeezed up a little as the winner edged towards the far rail, but he kept on well all the way to the line to take third. The first four finished well clear of their rivals and, of those four, Vale Of York was the only one who wasn’t held up out the back in the early stages. Actually, the other three raced in three of the last four places in the early stages of the race.

Like Joshua Tree, Vale Of York was rejected by his yard’s first jockey – Frankie Dettori preferring to ride Frozen Power, who was ultimately fairly disappointing – and he can build on this now. This was just his fourth ever run, and he has a really nice progressive profile now. He is bred to get at least 10 furlongs in time, but in the immediate term he would be of big interest if he took his chance in the Autumn Stakes back at Ascot this Saturday.

26th September 2009