Horses To Follow » Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall ran out a hugely impressive winner of the 10-furlong handicap that ended Craven day at Newmarket last Thursday. Drawn in stall two, with only the favourite Tamaathul between him and the stands rail, Jamie Spencer allowed him ease out of the gate, and he gradually eased his way over towards the far side in behind horses to gain maximum cover. Really free through the early stages, despite the fact that he raced last of the 13 runners, he moved to the far side to deliver his challenge and, once he saw daylight, he picked up, with Spencer still trying to restrain him. Tamaathul got a lovely run up the near side rail and was finishing to good effect, but Spencer never had to move a muscle on Wigmore Hall. He eased to the front inside the final furlong, his rider had a long look over both shoulders, and he eased clear to win by two lengths, hard-held.

It is difficult to quantify exactly how good this performance was, or how good Wigmore Hall could be, but for now he is a horse of some potential. Tamaathul was a really useful juvenile last season, finishing second to Doctor David on his racecourse debut and then winning his maiden impressively, and he was well backed here, but he had no answer to Wigmore Hall. The Michael Bell-trained gelding was well backed when he won an auction maiden at Newmarket last autumn, and he lost two shoes when he was beaten on his final start last season, so you can easily forgive him that. He was gelded during the winter, and that may have been partly responsible for the improvement in form that he apparently showed here as he did show coltish tendencies last season. He was weak in the market here, giving weight away to all his rivals, in what is usually a good race, a race that has been won in the past by Notnowcato and Bronze Cannon. The plan is apparently to run in a 10-furlong listed race at Newmarket on Guineas weekend, which makes sense, given that he was winning over the course and distance here. He should be at least up to listed class, he could be even better than that, and he is a very exciting horse now, but he is at his best on fast ground.

15th April 2010

© The Irish Field, 24th April 2010