Horses To Follow » Palavicini


Palavicini ran a strange sort of race in the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket on Thursday. Slowly enough away, Jimmy Fortune immediately allowed him go to his right to track the small group that was set to race down the middle of the track, headed by Yahrab, but after they had gone a furlong, the rider decided that he was in the wrong place, so tacked back over to join the group on the stands rail. The net result of this was that Palavicini found himself, unusually for him, in front on the rail after they had gone two furlongs. He travelled well from there, and actually looked the most likely winner of the race when Fortune asked him to pick up two and a half furlongs out. However, Tranquil Tiger followed him through as the pair of them came clear of their rivals on the near side, travelling better, and got the better of him at the furlong pole, but the pair of them were trumped by Sri Putra, who had raced on the far side. Actually, it looked as if Palavicini was about to start running on again as they met the rising ground, but Tranquil Tiger seemed to come across him again inside the final 100 yards, with the result that Fortune dropped his hands and allowed him coast up to the line to finish third, only a length behind Tranquil Tiger and just two lengths behind the winner.

John Dunlop’s horse is better than the bare form that he displayed here. He is a horse who can take a pull, so he is at his best when he is held up in behind horses and delivered with a sustained effort, as he was when he won a Group 3 race at York last August. He didn’t really progress from there last year as it looked like he might, but he pulled too hard at Goodwood in September, and he was ridden too prominently at Newmarket in October. He remains interesting, and he would be particularly interesting if he ran at York’s May meeting, given how well he ran the track on his only attempt there last season.

15th April 2010