Horses To Follow » Saptapadi


Saptapadi did well in the circumstances to finish second behind Akmal in the Group 2 Henry II Stakes at Sandown on Thursday evening. It wasn’t ideal that he got loose before the race for starters. He didn’t appear to take too much out of himself, and he was caught fairly quickly, but he was on edge even before that incident, and it certainly didn’t help. During the race, he was settled far enough back off a sedate pace that Akmal was allowed set. Even so, he moved up nicely at the top of the home straight, picked up well two furlongs out to come widest of all and put it up to Akmal, looking like he was going to go by, but his run petered out and he had to settle for second place. It was still a fine run.

Akmal did well to win this, but he was the beneficiary of an astute front-running ride from Richard Hills, and he was able to pick up off a slow pace from the front when Saptapadi came to challenge. There is also the chance that Saptapadi was so much on edge beforehand and that he expended so much energy that he wasn’t able to get home up the hill on this, his first attempt at two miles. There is plenty of speed in his pedigree, but he is a full-brother to Patkai, who has won a Queen’s Vase and a Sagaro Stakes, and who finished second to Yeats in the Ascot Gold Cup last year, and their mare is by Sadler’s Wells, a sister to Islington, so he has every chance of staying. He was the only horse who got into this race from the back, he had to do a lot of running just to move up to challenge Akmal, and he had some decent performers, including Darley Sun, behind him. This was just Saptapadi’s fifth ever race and he should progress significantly now, as a lot of the Michael Stoute four-year-olds do for their seasonal debuts. He is in the Ascot Gold Cup, but that might be too much too soon, that is a Group 1 race over two and a half miles, and the Curragh Cup at The Curragh on Irish Derby weekend, a Group 3 race over a mile and six furlongs, might be a more suitable option for now.

27th May 2010