Horses To Follow » Landowner


Landowner put up a nice performance to win a one-mile nursery at Pontefract on Monday under top weight of 9st 7lb and off a rating of 74. It was a little surprising that the Godolphin colt was weak in the market beforehand, but it may have been that people felt he got it all his own way up front when he won his maiden at Warwick. Also, as a son of Shamardal out of a Zafonic mare, it wasn’t certain that the step up from seven furlongs to a mile was going to suit, especially as he was taking on Pontefract’s steep finish. Unbowed, Ahmed Ajtebi sent him forward from flagfall, just as he had done at Warwick, and managed to get over from stall eight to dispute the early lead with Mason Hindmarsh, who was making the most of his draw in stall one. The pair went stride for stride down the far side and around the home turn as everything else came under pressure in behind. Landowner took a slender advantage on the crown of the home turn but, with the benefit of the inside run, Mason Hindmarsh was back level when they straightened up. The Karen McLintock horse went about a neck up inside the final furlong and, with the rail to help him, looked sure to go on and win, but Landowner battled back really courageously, despite the fact that he was conceding 18lb, and forced his way back up to win by a neck.

The attitude that Landowner showed here was impressive. Contrary to expectations, the extra furlong and the stiffer track proved to be to his liking, and he stayed on really willingly to get up inside the final 50 yards, with the front pair pulling well clear. Furthermore, the time was almost exactly the same as the time that it took Gallic Star to win the listed juveniles’ race run over the same course and distance later in the day. Landowner is a half-brother to the high-class handicapper Riggins, but he seems to have inherited a lot of that one’s talent and not too much of his attitude, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next. This was just his third ever race and he should progress again. He may remain under the radar, a 74-rated winner of a Pontefract nursery on a Monday, but he could be a fair bit better than this.

19th October, 2009