Horses To Follow » Midas Touch

Midas Touch

Midas Touch put in a really nice performance to land a seven-furlong maiden at The Curragh on Monday. A little keen after getting buffeted around a little through the early stages, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt was soon back on an even keel just behind the front rank, but he did look to be in some trouble when Johnny Murtagh’s arms began to move just inside the three-furlong pole. However, he responded well to his rider’s urgings and quickly joined the front rank a furlong and a half out. At that point, it looked as if Pat Smullen was travelling better on Legendary Lad, but Midas Touch found plenty for pressure, took it up just inside the final furlong and bounded clear to win by seven lengths, eased down. The performance is all the more meritorious because of the fact that he made his ground out in the centre of the track on a day on which there seemed to be a significant advantage to racing on the stands rail.

On his only previous start, Midas Touch had shaped nicely in finishing third behind his much better-fancied stable companion Jan Vermeer, who had had the benefit of a run, in a good maiden at Gowran Park at the end of last month. He obviously came on for his debut, as almost all the Ballydoyle juveniles do, but he was still a little green here and there is almost certainly more improvement to come. Aidan O’Brien spoke afterwards about possibly allowing him run again before the end of the season, and he does hold a Racing Post Trophy entry, which is interesting. He is by Galileo out of a Darshaan mare, Approach, a daughter of the top class Last Second, who won a listed race over 10 furlongs, so he should have little difficulty staying a mile as a juvenile. Indeed, he gave the impression here that he would improve for stepping up in distance. O’Brien has had three winners and seven placed horses in the Racing Post Trophy in the last 10 years, he obviously holds the race in high regard, and Midas Touch would be interesting if he was allowed take his chance in the race on 24th October. The ground is usually on the easy side for that contest, and Midas Touch handled the testing conditions well on Monday. Looking further ahead, he is a fine middle distance prospect for next season.

12th October 2009

© The Irish Field, 17th October 2009