Horses To Follow » Aghadoe


There was a lot to like about the performance that Aghadoe put up in winning the last race at The Curragh on Saturday, the 60-90 three-year-old handicap. A little keen in the early stages for Wayne Lordan, he had settled into a nice rhythm in third place behind Top Secret Prize and Gearanai by the time they have gone two furlongs. He was the only horse still on the bridle passing the three-furlong pole as the leader wilted and Gearanai went for home, and it was just a question of how much he would find when Lordan went for him. The answer was plenty. It took him a little while to get the better of the Jim Bolger-trained gelding, who had the rail to help him, but he went a length up passing the furlong pole and moved over onto the rail. The other Jim Bolger horse Start The Party finished well on the near side, and it looked like his momentum was going to get him there, but Aghadoe battled on really well when Start The Party got close to win by a length, with daylight between the first two and the third horse Goldarover.

This was just the fifth run of Aghadoe’s life, it was his first win, and he has a really nice progressive profile now. The David Wachman-trained colt shaped with a lot of promise on his previous run when he finished second to Book Of Numbers on his handicap debut at Leopardstown in early April. Significantly, Book Of Numbers, who raced off a mark of 66 that day, has won two handicaps since and now basks in an official rating of 94, Aghadoe raced off a mark of 68 at Leopardstown, and he was winning off an 8lb higher mark on Saturday. The handicapper has given him another 11lb for Saturday’s win, which is harsh enough on the face of it, he only got home by a length, but he could be progressive enough to withstand such a hike. He could still be under-rated on his new mark of 85, and that mark should see him get into some of the big handicaps on a nice racing weight. This one-mile trip looks good for him for now both on running style and on breeding (he is by Danehill Dancer out of a Sadler’s Wells mare who won over seven furlongs in France for Criquette Head-Maarek) and he should be even better when he learns to settle better. He will be interesting wherever he goes next.

22nd May 2010

© The Irish Field, 29th May 2010