Horses To Follow » Light From Mars

Light From Mars

Things conspired against Light From Mars in the seven-furlong handicap at Kempton on Saturday. He is a horse who is at his best off a fast pace, so the withdrawal of Thebes, a potential pace-setter or at least pace-influencer, after he burst out of the stalls before they opened, meant that Dunn’o had a solo up front, and his rider was allowed dictate a sedate pace to suit himself. To exacerbate things, Light From Mars missed the start, and was stone last of the 14 remaining runners after they had gone a furlong. He only had three horses behind him turning for home, but he picked up nicely into a quickening pace, and finished best of all to take fifth, just a length and a half behind the winner and only beaten a neck for second place.

Winner of a good seven-furlong handicap at York last October off a mark of 94, he proved here that he can at least be competitive off his new rating of 100. A fast-run race over seven furlongs appears to be his optimum, and he can make his mark now in a big handicap off this handicap rating, with the Victoria Cup at Ascot looking like an ideal target. It is a little bit of a worry that he ran disappointingly on his only visit to Ascot to date, a track at which course form can be crucial these days, but that was in the Royal Hunt Cup, with 25 runners, and run over a mile, so he can be excused that one. If connections do decide to side-step Ascot, the Leicestershire Cup at Leicester at the end of this month could be the race for him.

3rd April 2010