Horses To Follow » High Standing

High Standing

High Standing put up a nice performance on his seasonal debut to land a five-furlong listed race at Haydock last Saturday. William Haggas’s gelding was a bit unruly in the stalls and was steady coming out of them, but he then settled in the rear of the field behind a fast pace. He came with his challenge one furlong from home and took it up from Rose Blossom inside the final furlong to win nicely, with two and a half lengths back to Judd Street in third.

High Standing was impressive here, winning this on his seasonal debut and over a trip that was probably inadequate for him. He does go well fresh, he has won on his debut for the last three seasons now, but he had never before won over five furlongs. Six of his seven wins before this had been over six furlongs, the other had been over seven. The rain that got into the ground obviously helped him over the minimum trip, but it was still a fine performance. The second, Rose Blossom, is a lightly raced three-year-old who is progressive now after a spell in the wilderness and who had the benefit of race fitness coming into this, having won a conditions race at York impressively on her previous run. She attempted to make all here as well, it appears to be the only way she knows, but she was fairly comfortably beaten by High Standing in the end, with jockey Ryan Moore not having to get too serious.

There should be more to come from the winner when going back up to six furlongs. He was a highly progressive sort last year, winning his first four races, including the Wokingham and the Group 3 Shadwell stakes at Newbury, beating Prime Defender and Doncaster Rover, form that looks even stronger now given that pair’s exploits this season. He then finished third in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, which was a fair achievement given that he was only the eighth best horse on official ratings going into the race. On this evidence, there is every chance that he will improve again from four to five. A Group 1 win is not an unrealistic target this season, and best odds of 16/1 about him for the Golden Jubilee are on the generous side at this stage.

29th May 2010