Horses To Follow » Sebastian Flyte

Sebastian Flyte

The Frank Ennis-trained Sebastian Flyte ran a big race to finish second in the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket on Thursday. Settled in second place about three lengths off the breakaway leader Sir Parky in the early stages, he could never quite get to the leader, who actually led all the way to spring a 33/1 shocker under a fine tactical ride by Richard Hughes. The ground was fast on the day, and there was a tailwind, so it did favour horses who raced prominently, and that was probably a contributory factor to the winner’s victory. It also undoubtedly helped Sebastian Flyte. However, while the winner raced in a clear lead, Willie Supple just sat at the head of the main group of runners on Sebastian Flyte, with no more than a length or a length-and-a-half advantage over the rest of his rivals at any stage of the race. Indeed, at the two-furlong pole as he came under pressure, it looked like he was going to be swamped, as Nideeb loomed on one side of him and Mata Keranjang appeared on the other, but the son of Observatory picked up well out of The Dip to keep them at bay, and then to get out after the leader, who had drifted to the far rail. There was a lot to like about the manner in which the Plantation Stud’s gelding stuck his neck out and galloped all the way to the line, pulling a length and a half clear of his rivals and failing by just a half a length to catch Sir Parky.

This was just the fourth run of Sebastian Flyte’s life. We didn’t see him for nearly five months after he came home with mucus on his lungs after contesting the first juvenile race of the season, won by King Ledley, back in March, but he won his maiden at Gowran Park on his reappearance, battling on well in the closing stages and staying every yard of the seven-furlong trip to get up and beat Mister Tee by a short head. On his only run between then and Thursday he finished third behind Arctic and Air Chief Marshal in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes at The Curragh on heavy ground. He seemed to be much more at home on the better ground on Thursday, and the manner in which he saw out the distance suggests that a mile should be within his compass, a notion that is not dispelled by his breeding, out of a mare who won over a mile and from the family of Royal Whip winner Chancellor. He will be interesting if he runs again between now and the end of the season, and he may be under-rated, as analysts may have a question mark over this race given that a fairly exposed 33/1 shot led the whole way.

1st October 2009

© The Irish Field, 10th October 2009