Horses To Follow » Gardening Leave

Gardening Leave

There were four scratchings from the one-mile juvenile maiden at Newbury on Saturday, so it wasn’t perhaps as competitive as it might have been. Even so, Gardening Leave put up a nice performance to win it. Sent into the lead from flagfall by William Buick, it was soon apparent that he was doing everything easily. He did carry his head a bit high, and he pricked his ears in front when William Buick asked him to pull away, keeping his ears pricked all the way to the line, but he did pick up impressively and he did pull away nicely. He is a big loppy long-striding horse who probably appreciated getting his toe in. He will be better as he learns more, he should not be as green next time, but he should improve as he grows into himself. He had shaped with a bit of promise when seventh on his racecourse debut at Salisbury, when he was well backed, and he was well enough backed again here, so he is obviously showing something at home. The time wasn’t great, almost two seconds slower than the first division of this contest, but the first division was the first race on the card, this race was the sixth, and the times on the day were getting progressively slower, suggesting that perhaps the ground was getting slower as the track was being cut up. As a result, this performance may be under-rated by the clock-watchers, and Gardening Leave may be under-estimated when he runs next. He could be very good next year when he grows into himself a bit and as he gains racing experience.

24th October 2009