Horses To Follow » Emulous


The Dermot Weld-trained Emulous was a good winner of the curtain-raiser at The Curragh on Monday, a seven-furlong maiden for juvenile fillies. Drawn right towards the far side in stall 22, Pat Smullen quickly had her in a prominent position, and allowed her tack over towards the favoured stands side insofar as he could in the early stages. Travelling well just behind the front rank at the three-furlong pole, she got a nice gap two and a half furlongs out, and eased through it with minimal encouragement from her rider. Smullen asked her to pick up just inside the two, and she duly did, but at that point it looked as if Dance Hall Girl was travelling better under Chris Hayes. Both fillies found plenty for pressure inside the final furlong, the pair of them pulling clear of their field, but it was the Weld filly who just found more inside the final 150 yard to go on and win by a length, despite the fact that she raced on the far side of the runner-up on a day on which there appeared to be a marked advantage to racing towards the near side. The pair of them pulled five lengths back to the rest of the field. This was a really nice performance from the daughter of Dansili on her racecourse debut. Dance Hall Girl had had the benefit of a run, and her second place finish to listed race placed Foolish Ambition at Listowel set a fair standard. The presence in third place of the David Wachman-trained Unity adds further solidity to the form of the race. The fact that Emulous, a Prince Khalid Abdullah debutante from Rosewell House, was allowed go off at 10/1 suggests that there is probably better to come, and she should come on a fair bit for this. Also, there was a lot to like about her attitude, the manner in which she stretched her neck out and battled inside the final furlong. A sister to Daring Diva, who won a listed race over five furlongs in France, and a half-sister to Striking Spirit, who has won two Class 3 six-furlong handicaps this season, Emulous got every yard of this seven-furlong trip and, on this evidence, could easily step up to a mile. She could run in the Eyrefield Stakes before the end of the season, and she will be of interest if she does. Even if she doesn’t, she is already an exciting prospect for next season.

12th October 2009