Horses To Follow » Red Badge

Red Badge

Red Badge may have been slightly unlucky in the Esher Cup at Sandown last week. He broke well and then took a keen hold under Richard Hughes, eventually settling in behind the leaders on the rail. As they came up the straight Hughes began to push along, but the Captain Rio colt was a bit short of room. He tried to go through runners but was closed off and then blocked again when angling for a run up the rail. He was unlucky because he looked like he was staying on. He wouldn’t have beaten the impressive winner Fallen Idol, but he may well have challenged for second place.

Red Badge is better than this effort suggests and he could be underrated next time. His ill-luck may have gone under most radars. This was his first try at a mile, but it was completely inconclusive, his rider was not hard on him when his chance had gone and he is well worth a try at this trip again. It took him five runs to break his maiden last year, but he did so when he was upped in trip to seven furlongs for the first time, at Newmarket, running on strongly in the final furlong to win nicely. He had to give up a lot of ground and come wide that day and the second, third and fourth have all won since. He had finished a creditable sixth in the big sales race at York before that, running on strongly at the end of six furlongs, and you can easily forgive him his final run at Newbury last season, when the ground was far too soft for him.

Red Badge’s pedigree looks all speed at first glance, but his dam’s half-sister won over a mile and a half, and he has every chance of getting a mile or perhaps even further. With the benefit of this run, his first of the season, he should shape a lot better next time and he may be even suited by a step up in trip.

23rd April 2010