Horses To Follow » Meezaan


Meezaan looked like the second strong of owner Hamdan Al Maktoum in the seven-furlong maiden at Lingfield on Wednesday, with Richard Hills preferring Serhaal, and the second string from trainer John Gosden’s yard, with Mass Rally being stronger in the market, but he confounded both theories with a fairly authoritative win. Sent up to adopt a handy position from early by Tadhg O’Shea, and very keen through the first couple of furlongs, he eventually dropped the bit when he got to the front, but had expended enough energy beforehand, and he took them along at such a fast pace, stretching the field out behind him, that it was likely that he wouldn’t have enough left for the final furlong. Kicking off the home straight, O’Shea took him towards the centre of the track – you don’t want to be on the rail up the home straight at Lingfield – but the horse cocked his jaw a bit and drifted a little further to his right than his rider wanted, with the result that Jimmy Fortune on the other Gosden horse, Mass Rally, moved to the far side and looked the most likely winner, trading at 2/5 in-running. However, Meezaan picked up again once he was challenged, and he stretched his neck out and galloped all the way to the line to win by more than two lengths from Mass Rally, with another three lengths back to the third horse.

This may have only been a Class 5 maiden, but it shaped like a race of much higher standard than that. On his previous run, Mass Rally had run really well in a hot maiden at Newmarket, a maiden that some decent types have won in the past, travelling best of all into The Dip and just fading inside the final furlong. That race was run over a mile, so it looked like the drop back down to seven furlongs would be ideal. Also, that race was won by Fareej, who was most impressive in beating a well-regarded Michael Jarvis horse Business As Usual at Lingfield an hour before this race. The colt that Richard Hill chose in preference to Meezaan, Serhaal, was a 240,000gns yearling, who had finished second to Excellent Art on his previous run. Meezaan for his own part, a Medicean colt out of a sister to the highly-regarded Steinbeck, cost 200,000gns as a yearling, and had shaped with a fair degree of promise on his only previous start, when he raced on the wrong side in the Tattersalls Million at Newmarket 10 days ago. He is obviously not straightforward, he sweated up a fair bit before this race, he raced very keenly through the early part of the race, and he went to his left in the home straight, but he obviously has plenty of ability. He was probably value for more than the winning margin here, and he should improve on this again if he learns to settle a bit better. It may be that he will settle in front better than in behind runners, so it may be that he will have to lead in his races, but he is still interesting. He may be allowed drift under the radar a little as well, having got off the mark in a Class 5 maiden at Lingfield.

14th October 2009