Horses To Follow » Nurture


Nurture ran an eye-catching race to finish third in the Goffs Million Mile at The Curragh on Sunday. The least-fancied of Richard Hannon’s three runners in the race, she was held up out the back in the early stages by Fran Berry, just allowed to find her stride in amongst horses, but she travelled well into the home straight. She got stuck behind horses a little passing the half-mile pole and came under pressure when the pace increased from that point, but she did respond to Berry’s urgings, and began to run on nicely. She was always making ground on the leaders from that point, and continued to make ground all the way to the line, finishing best of all and bravely going through a tight enough gap inside the final 100 yards to snatch third place. She finished best of all by far, and she was in front 100 yards after the line.

This race was run to suit those who raced prominently. The winner Shakespearean is a front-runner, he made all when he won the Solario Stakes at Sandown on his previous run, but, as at Sandown, he was allowed an easy enough time of it up front on Sunday, with the result that he wasn’t forced into going too fast, which suited those who raced up with the pace. Interestingly, five of the first six places were filled by horses who raced handily. Indeed, five of the first six places were filled by the horses that occupied the first five places at the top of the home straight. The only one who got in amongst them from the rear was Nurture. A maiden coming into the race, the daughter of Bachelor Duke had only run twice, finishing second in a Class 5 maiden at Wolverhampton over six furlongs on her latest start. She wasn’t as well fancied as her two stable companions, a fact that was represented in her SP of 33/1, but she was obviously showing enough at home for Hannon to allow her take her chance in this, and the trainer’s runners in these big sales races are always to be highly respected. It is probable that the step up to a mile brought about the huge improvement in Nurture (her unraced dam’s half-sister got 10 furlongs), and she will be interesting now if allowed compete over that distance again between now and the end of the season.

27th September 2009

© The Irish Field, 3rd October 2009