Horses To Follow » Showcasing


Showcasing ran a cracker to finish second in the Duke of York Stakes at York on Wednesday. Slowly away from stall 11, one off the near side, he was last of the 12 runners after they had gone a furlong, and was racing on the wrong side of the track. It may have been down to the ground, or it may have been down to the pace, set by Inxile and Starspangledbanner, who came from stalls four and three respectively, on the far side, but if you stop the video two and a half furlongs out, the runners are in diagonal formation, front to back, from Prime Defender on the far side to Mullionmileanhour on the near side. It appears that there was a definite advantage to be gained from racing on the far side, if not for the week at York then definitely in this race. Showcasing raced a little awkwardly, he seemed to by carrying his head awkwardly, to the two-furlong pole, at which point he was about five lengths off the leaders, but he picked up noticeably and impressively from there, stretching his head out and galloping, and finished best of all on the unfavoured near side to finish second. He seemed to tire a little in the final 50 yards, but that is wholly forgivable on his seasonal debut, and he was still closing on the winner Prime Defender all the way to the line.

Showcasing was a high class juvenile last season, winning the Gimcrack and finishing within a length of Awzaan in the Middle Park Stakes. By Oasis Dream, he is obviously set to be campaigned as a sprinter this term, but his owner’s representative Teddy Grimthorpe was concerned before Wednesday’s race that he would need it. On top of that, although he was getting plenty of weight from his elders under the weight-for-age scale, the four three-year-olds who had contested the Duke of York Stakes before him in the previous 10 renewals had all come up short. It can be difficult for three-year-old sprinters to take on their elders, but it is not impossible, as Showcasing’s sire Oasis Dream and Sakhee’s Secret and Total Gallery have all proven. If, as expected, he did need this run, and provided he makes at least normal progression now as a three-year-old, Showcasing could develop into one of the top sprinters around this season.

12th May 2010