Horses To Follow » Opinion Poll

Opinion Poll

Opinion Poll put up a really impressive performance to land a listed race run over a mile and six furlongs at Nottingham on Wednesday. Settled in just behind the leaders in the early stages by Frankie Dettori, he travelled supremely well down the back straight, improved nicely a half a mile out, took it up on the bridle at the two-furlong poll, and eased clear, Dettori having the luxury of being able to start easing him down once they passed the furlong poll.

This was not the greatest listed race ever run, and Opinion Poll’s main market rival Tastahil was hugely disappointing, but runner-up Montaff is a useful performer on his day, and Opinion Poll could not have been any more impressive. A really progressive handicapper last season, the Michael Jarvis-trained colt disappointed on fast ground in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, but he was put away after that, waited for the easier ground, and duly came back and was most impressive in landing a heritage handicap back at Ascot on softer ground. Jarvis said that he had done plenty of work with him prior to his seasonal debut. The intention is presumably to campaign him in the early part of the season when the ground is easy, and perhaps take a break at the height of summer and bring him back for an autumn campaign. That would all make a lot of sense. He is most progressive, he is a lightly-raced four-year-old who is obviously really talented when the ground is on the easy side. The handicapper raised him another 5lb for this performance to a mark of 109, but that may all be irrelevant now, he is probably beyond handicaps. The Sagaro Stakes looks like the race for him now, and he should be a leading player in that. He is worth a second look in whatever race he contests now as long as the ground is on the easy side. There is no telling how good he could be.

7th April 2010