Horses To Follow » Fallen Idol

Fallen Idol

Fallen Idol put up a really nice performance to win the Esher Cup at Sandown on Friday. John Gosden’s colt travelled well out the back in the early stages, travelled well on the outside into the home straight, picked up nicely two furlongs out and galloped on well, widest of all, to go clear, pulling over two lengths clear of long-time leader Karaka Jack. Time may show that this was a very smart performance. The pace was strong, it seemed to run like a good race, but it can’t have been too strong, it can’t have been a pace through which the hold-up horses would be flattered, given that early leader Karaka Jack was able to keep on so well to take second place. And it didn’t seem to be too strong, but the time of the race was still a second and a half faster than the time of the Class 3 conditions race run later on the day over the same course and distance, won by No Hubris.

This was just Fallen Idol’s second ever race. On his racecourse debut at Kempton last September, he showed a nice turn of foot over seven furlongs and a willing attitude to get up close home to beat two Godolphin horses, Golden Shaheen and Saboteur, both of whom won their maidens before the end of the season, and Gosden apparently holds him in high enough regard. It is interesting that the trainer won the Esher Cup last year with a similarly unexposed type in Racketeer, who looked like a really useful prospect, but who got well beaten on the Heron Stakes on his subsequent start, after which we didn’t see him again.

Fallen Idol was rated 89 going into this race, the handicapper has raised him to 98, and that may still under-estimate his ability. It may be irrelevant, however, as the Heron Stakes, a listed race run over the same course and distance as Friday’s race back at Sandown on Brigadier Gerard evening at the end of May, is apparently his next target. He is really lightly raced and he should continue to progress. He is entered in the St James’s Palace Stakes, which is a measure of the regard in which his trainer holds him, and he could prove to be very good indeed.

23rd April 2010