Horses To Follow » Nanton


Nanton put in another remarkable performance to finish third in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last Saturday. Desperately drawn on the near side in stall four of 32, he had the pace to adopt and maintain a good position up the straight course, but he was on the outside of the field, which unsurprisingly congregated towards the favoured far rail. Even though he raced on the most disadvantageous part of the track, he travelled easily into the race, then picked up nicely when Daniel Tudhope went for him a furlong and a half out to close all the way to the line, going down by a total of just a length and a quarter in the end behind Supaseus and Tartan Gigha, who raced hard up against the far side the whole way. To put the magnitude of this effort into context, he was the only horse who finished in the first 12 who was drawn lower than 15, and he was drawn four. Nine of the horses who filled the last 10 places in the race were drawn 13 or lower. There really was a startling draw bias at Newmarket on the day, and Nanton hasn’t received the credit that he is due for finishing so close.

Second in the race last year from a good draw, he looked well up against it this year from his poor draw and off a 12lb higher mark, but he has progressed incredibly this season at the age of seven. I thought that the step up in distance was the making of him when he won the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster last month, but he proved here that he retains a lot of his pace. Trainer Jim Goldie is talking about allowing him take his chance in the Cesarewitch on 17th October. He will probably be under-estimated in that, but he could go very well in it at a big price as long as the ground hasn’t gone for him by then.

3rd October 2009