Horses To Follow » Olynard


Olynard made an encouraging return to the track, after 272 days off, to finish third behind Captain Carey in a five-furlong handicap at Chepstow last Friday. Held up in touch, towards the near side rail, he travelled well through the first part of the race until he came off the bridle at the two-furlong pole. He just took a few strides to get going, but eventually began to progress, and just gave best to Abraham Lincoln in their battle for second.

This was a really encouraging run from Olynard and his trainer Ralph Beckett said afterwards that he should come on a lot for it. The son of Exceed And Excel was progressive as a three-year-old last season and looks to have carried that progression through to this year. He shaped as though he may be better suited by six furlongs than by the minimum trip, taking a while to get going before making progress towards the end, and that is reflected in his form, with both of his wins last year coming over six furlongs. In fact this race was probably his best performance over five furlongs, having been off for so long and facing rivals who had an advantage of race fitness, and the form has a solid look. They did finish in a bunch for second, but he had some useful rivals behind him, and the fifth horse Hajoum has come out and won since. The winner, who had already won this season, was a really progressive sort last year and looks to have carried that through to this season. Also, the winning time was also the fastest comparative time on the day.

Olynard should go forward from here, he looks to be an improved performer now as a four-year-old, as a lot of sprinters are, and he should get better as the season progresses. With the benefit of this run, he will be of interest when stepped back up to six furlongs.

21st May 2010